EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The fourth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite built for the U.S. Air Force by Boeing for airborne intelligence data transmission is ready for launch Thursday.
The WGS-4, the first in the Block II configuration satellite, uses a radio frequency bypass switch that enables data transmission at rates three times greater than other WSG satellites.
"This launch will be another important step in advancing communications capabilities for U.S. warfighters and allies around the world," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. "When it enters service, WGS-4 will join three other WGS satellites that deliver critical communications to help warfighters execute missions with greater safety and efficiency."
Boeing said it delivered the satellite to the Air Force in mid-November, and the spacecraft has since been undergoing pre-launch testing. It will be launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 7:38 p.m.
The Air Force ordered a total of six WSG satellites.