EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has given Boeing a $338.7 million contract modification to produce and launch another Wideband Global SATCOM satellite.
The satellite will be the 10th WGS satellite produced for the service and will include an enhanced Wideband Digital Channelizer upgrade, which provides a 90 percent improvement in satellite bandwidth.
It is already being incorporated into the WGS eight and nine and comes with no additional cost to the government.
"We are continuously looking for ways to realize cost savings on the WGS program, whether through product upgrades or improvements in the acquisition process," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.
"Unlike previous annual authorizations of single satellites, the Air Force recently acquired three satellites -- WGS-8, -9 and -10 -- within a six-month window. This enabled us to generate significant savings by combining procurements for materials and by maintaining an active production line across the vehicles."
The contract modification includes launch site activities, initial orbital operations and checkout of WGS-10 and comes six months after Congress provided funding for the Air Force in fiscal year 2012 to purchase WGS-10.
"This additional order is part of the WGS Block II follow-on contract, under which Boeing had previously been authorized for production and launch of WGS-7 through WGS-9," Boeing said.