Spaceflight Insider

Boeing wins contract award for next generation SATCOM satellites

An artist’s depiction of a Boeing built WGS satellite. The company has been awarded its latest U.S. Space Force contract, to design and build the next generation of SATCOM satellites. Image Credit: Boeing

In a press release earlier this month, Boeing announced the award of a developmental contract for the next generation communications satellite on behalf of the United States Space Force.

The contract award represents the Space Force’s latest effort to design, maintain, and improve an advanced communication structure for the SATCOM initiative. As part of the Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program, SATCOM will be an advanced military communications satellite aimed at improving high end performance of military space hardware. The award is intended to kick start development programs at Boeing to design an intricate military satellite and payload architecture system.

The initial ESS Development contract is valued at $298 Million. The first of three contracts, the latter two contracts are expected to be awarded in the year 2025. The Boeing Company has a storied history working with the military to design and develop advanced satellites to assist the warfighter as well as advanced communications for military intelligence. Spanning over six decades, Boeing’s support for the United States Military’s SATCOM program has helped to improve functionality across air, land, and sea platforms. The SATCOM program is considered one of the most important aspects of achieving the Space Force’s mission.

Troy Dawson, Vice President of Boeing Government Satellite Systems, commented on the award, stating “We have worked closely with the Space Force to define a program responsive to our nation’s needs… By leveraging our expertise in digital engineering and technologies with synergies across both our government and commercial systems, we’re uniquely positioned to deliver solutions needed to address the ever-evolving threats.”

Boeing is no stranger to the spacecraft and satellite business. Some of Boeing’s more notable satellites include the 702 communication bus satellite family, which served as the basis for both the U.S. Governments WGS constellation, and many of the satellites for SES, including O3b mPOWER, a constellation of 11 satellites that provide high-speed, low-latency communication service to governments as well aviation and ship fleets. The company also built and completed the GPS-IIF constellation, which is beginning to be phased out in favor of Lockheed’s GPS-III systems.


Having a life-long interest in crewed space flight, Desforges’ passion materialized on a family vacation in 1999 when he was able see the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-96. Since then, Desforges has been an enthusiast of space exploration efforts. He lived in Orlando, Florida for a year, during which time he had the opportunity to witness the flights of the historic CRS-4 and EFT-1 missions in person at Cape Canaveral. He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 2017, holds a degree in Aviation Management, and currently works as an Operations Analyst in the aviation industry in Georgia.

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