Boeing shipped its fifth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite to Cape Canaveral in Florida for this year's planned launch, the company announced Tuesday.
WGS-5 is part of the upgraded Block II series satellites designed to help provide the U.S. Air Force with faster transmission of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery.
It arrived at the Astrotech processing facility in Titusville, Fla. on March 9 and will undergo preflight checkout, fueling and integration to prepare for launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket.
WGS-5 will join four other Boeing-built WGS satellites currently in operation to provide warfighters with worldwide connectivity.
Boeing said it will accomplish this by via a “switchable” radio frequency bypass that sends imagery approximately three times faster than the data rates currently available to the U.S. Department of Defense.
WGS-6 has completed testing and is in storage awaiting its scheduled mid-2013 launch date. WGS satellites -7 through -10 are in production under a Block II follow-on contract signed in August 2010.