DENVER, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center recently awarded United Launch Alliance a contract modification to perform the launch services for the Wideband Global SATCOM-4 (WGS-4) satellite aboard a Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. The anticipated launch period is December 2011 - February 2012 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
The WGS-4 mission will be the fourth satellite of the WGS system and the first in the Block II series. The WGS satellites are from the space component of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capabilities to America's troops in the field for the next decade and beyond. WGS enables more robust and flexible execution of Command and Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), as well as battle management and combat support information functions.
WGS-4 will join the existing constellation of the WGS-1, 2 and 3 satellites and provide additional information broadcast capabilities. WGS-1 and WGS-2 were both launched previously on ULA Atlas V rockets on Oct. 10, 2007 and Apr. 3, 2009 respectfully. WGS-3 was launched on a Delta IV on Dec. 5, 2009.
"Following the launch of WGS-3, United Launch Alliance is proud to continue our vital role in providing the latest technology for the warfighter with this contract for the fourth launch of a WGS spacecraft," said Michael Gass, ULA President and Chief Executive Officer. "The WGS constellation was the first series of satellites to launch on both the Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles since the inception of ULA. This operational flexibility for our government customers was a primary reason for the creation of ULA."
This mission will be launched by the Delta IV Medium+ (5,4) configuration using a single common booster core with a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine with four Alliant Techsystems GEM 60 solid rocket motors, a PWR RL10B-2 upper stage engine and a five-meter diameter upper stage and composite payload fairing.
ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas, and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at CCAFS, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).
SOURCE United Launch Alliance