Boeing received authorization from the U.S. Air Force to produce and launch the eighth and ninth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites. WGS-8 and -9 will join four other satellites that are part of the Block II series. Block II adds a switchable radio frequency bypass that enables the transmission of airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance imagery at data rates approximately three times greater than the rates available on Block I satellites. WGS-9 is being funded through a cooperative agreement that the USAF has forged with Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and New Zealand. WGS satellites are built on the Boeing 702HP platform, which features highly efficient xenon-ion propulsion, deployable thermal radiators, and advanced triple-junction gallium-arsenide solar arrays that enable high-capacity, flexible payloads.