Main Engine Cut Off

The Curious Case of Boeing and The Surprise Funding of WGS 11 and 12

Sandra Erwin of SpaceNews on the mysterious addition of $600 million in the 2018 omnibus budget to fund WGS 11 and 12:

The additional money would fund the 11th and 12th satellite of the Wideband Global SATCOM constellation, manufactured by Boeing.

Peterman called it a waste of taxpayer resources and a “political earmark that was driven into the budget and blindsided DoD in a significant way.”

While WGS is an important capability for the military, it is technology that has been surpassed by the private sector, said Peterman. “The tragedy, I think, is that by the time WGS 11 and 12 are fielded, there will be terabits worth of private sector satcom available,” far more than the military says it needs. This would give DoD a chance to get more services for less money, he said.

Large federal funding of a Boeing-built system which the private sector says is unnecessary because they can provide the government with more services for less money. Sounds familiar.