Bombardier E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)
Bombardier E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)

US Air Force Buys Global 6000 for E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)

Hanscom Air Force Base personnel recently completed the purchase of a new aircraft in support of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, program. BACN program management office personnel made the purchase of the Green Global 6000 through an execution of the $464.8 million contract with Learjet, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of the Specialized Aircraft Division of Bombardier Inc., last June. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract provides funds for up to six Global 6000 aircraft. This is the third new aircraft purchased under the contract. The BACN Integrated Procurement Team lead, this effort will boost the BACN fleet by increasing aircraft availability to meet global demand.

BACN technology reduces line-of-sight issues by enabling real-time information flow across the battlespace between similar and dissimilar tactical data link and voice systems through relay, bridging, and data translation. The BACN team purchased the first new aircraft in fiscal year 2021. Once a Global 6000 is outfitted with BACN technology, it is reclassified as an E-11A. Currently, three E-11A aircraft carry the BACN payload. Because of its flexible deployment options and ability to operate at high altitudes, BACN allows air and surface forces to overcome communications difficulties caused by mountains, rough terrain, or distance.

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A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node-equipped E-11A aircraft rolls out on the flightline at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., in July 2018.
A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node-equipped E-11A aircraft rolls out on the flightline at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. BACN program management office personnel recently purchased an additional Green Global 6000 through an execution of a previous contract with Learjet, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of the Specialized Aircraft Division of Bombardier Inc. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract provides funds for up to six Global 6000 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

BACN provides critical information to all operational echelons, which increases situational awareness by correlating tactical and operational air and ground environments. The BACN team contracted with Northrop Grumman Mission Systems in late January 2021 for integration, sustainment, and support of the BACN program. Click here to read more about that effort. The team to purchase the next Global 6000 in fiscal year 2023. The BACN program office is a branch of the Aerial Networks Division of the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorate, headquartered here.

The Bombardier Global Express is a large cabin, 6,000 nmi / 11,100 km range business jet designed and manufactured by Bombardier Aviation (formerly Bombardier Aerospace). Announced in October 1991, it first flew on 13 October 1996, received its Canadian type certification on 31 July 1998 and entered service in July 1999. Production of the third-generation Global 6000 started in 2012. Its flexible wing and 97.5 lb/sq ft (476 kg/m2) wing loading, the highest among its competitors, gives a comfortable ride in turbulence. The Global Express has been modified for military missions, GlobalEye multi-role Airborne early warning and control, Project Dolphin surveillance aircraft, Raytheon Sentinel surveillance aircraft and Saab Swordfish maritime patrol aircraft.

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