A Boeing [NYSE] satellite that will increase the U.S. military's global mobile communications capacity is scheduled for launch on Dec. 15, 2003, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
The Boeing 601 satellite is the 11th UHF Follow-On (UFO) spacecraft built and delivered by Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, Calif., for the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego.
Boeing has delivered 10 UFO spacecraft under a contract originally awarded in July 1988 and now valued at approximately $2.1 billion.
"Over the life of this highly successful 15-year program, the UFO payloads have evolved to meet the customer's changing needs, and the 11th spacecraft's added capabilities will provide new UHF channels that are critically needed by U.S. forces in active military operations," said Dave Ryan, vice president and general manager of Boeing Satellite Systems. "We take great pride in our role on this program because the UHF mobile service is the backbone of global military communications today, supporting warfighters on land, at sea and in the air."
UFO F11 will lift off aboard an Atlas III launch vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS). The two-hour launch window opens at 9:38 p.m. EST.
UFO F11 carries a new ultra-high frequency (UHF) digital receiver that will provide additional UHF channels and greater flexibility in configuring communication services. The spacecraft's extremely high frequency (EHF) communications subsystem will provide enhanced antijam telemetry, command, broadcast, and fleet interconnectivity communications, using advanced signal processing techniques.
The launch of UFO F11 will mark the culmination of a successful 15-year program at BSS, and comes as the company also marks the 40th anniversary of the Boeing-built Syncom, the world's first geosynchronous communications satellite. Since that first success, BSS has delivered nearly 210 spacecraft, using technology and capabilities that will be critical to future communications networks serving government and commercial users.