Northrop Grumman to extend BACN connectivity
Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract modification by the US Air Force (USAF) to add beyond-line-of-sight command and control (BLOS C2) capabilities to the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) information gateway system. This will give warfighters access to full-motion video, imagery, voice over Internet protocol and chat messages from multiple sources.
BACN is part of the USAF’s development of a BLOS C2 architecture to meet US Central Command requirements, essentially creating a wireless Internet over the battlefield.
The high-altitude BACN system provides situational awareness and command and control coordination between warfighters by bridging and extending voice communications and battlespace information from numerous sources. Since the BACN system was deployed in 2008 to overcome communications limitations, it has delivered near 24/7 coverage in theatre.
The contract will see Northrop Grumman integrate Multi-Role Tactical Common Data Link and associated control terminals with the BACN suite of computers and radio systems aboard one of three BACN-equipped E-11A Bombardier Global Express BD-700 aircraft platforms; and support government-sponsored BLOS C2 developmental and operational testing.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the development, fielding and maintenance of the BACN system. The company was awarded the first BACN contract in April 2005, and this contract modification is valued at $20 million. Work is to be completed by 30 June 2013.
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