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US And Australia Share New Communications Satellites

Once operational, the WGS system will provide a quantum leap in communications bandwidth for the U.S. and Australian warfighters.
by Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 16, 2007
Representatives from the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force met at the Australian Embassy here to sign a memorandum of agreement that will provide both nations assured access to the Wideband Global SATCOM system, expanding the WGS constellation to six satellites. The expansion will vastly improve communications for the military forces of both countries with unprecedented access to bandwidth-intensive applications such as video streaming, teleconferencing, real-time data transmission and high-resolution imaging.

"Today marks another great development in the U.S.-Australia partnership," said Bruce Lemkin, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs. "Under this program, the next generation of communications satellites will come into operation with Australia as a participant with us. It's important not only for the capability, but It represents another strong bond in this great relationship between the U.S. and Australia."

"We're now going to get a capability that neither of us would have had on our own," said the RAAF's Mark Reynolds, Counsellor Defence Material. "The sum of our parts is far greater than we could have imagined."

Once operational, the WGS system will provide a quantum leap in communications bandwidth for the U.S. and Australian warfighters. It will be the Department of Defense's high capacity communications satellite in the X and Ka-band frequency range. In addition, the new wideband capability will offer support for the new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the RQ-4 Global Hawks and MQ-9 Reapers.

"The Air Force saw a 'win-win' opportunity to partner with Australia to gain much needed additional capability while also satisfying Australia's (satellite communication) requirements," said Gary Payton, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for space programs.

The first WGS satellite is scheduled to achieve initial operational capability in January with full operational capability expected in 2013 following the launch of the sixth satellite.

"When it comes online, Australia will have immediate access to it," Mr. Lemkin said. "It's mutually beneficial and provides a capability for both of our nations in carrying out each of our security responsibilities around the globe."

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XTAR Awarded GSA Schedule Contract For Information Technology Services
Rockville MD (SPX) Nov 12, 2007
XTAR, a joint venture between Loral Space and Communications and HISDESAT, announced that it has received a contract from the U.S. General Services Administration, Federal Acquisition Service for Information Technology Equipment, Software, and Services (FSC Group 70). The contract has an unlimited spending ceiling and may be used by any federal, state or local agency to acquire XTAR's high-powered X-band bandwidth and services.

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