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US Air Force to grow E-11A BACN airborne communications gateway fleet

9th November 2022 - 18:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The E-11A was used extensively by the USAF in Afghanistan, and the latest contract will take the fleet to five aircraft. (Photo: USAF)

The United States Air Force (USAF) is expanding its E-11A fleet from three to five after awarding Northrop Grumman a contract to integrate Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) on two additional aircraft.

The USAF has awarded Northrop Grumman a contract for purchase and integration of Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) payloads on two additional E-11A aircraft (a modified Bombardier Global 6000 business jet).

BACN provides an airborne communications gateway capability to commanders and warfighters, connecting voice and data link networks. It bridges and extends voice communications and battlespace awareness data from numerous sources using a suite of computers and radio systems.

This award is part of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract awarded in 2021 to extend BACN operations, sustainment and support.

BACN is currently fielded by the USAF on three E-11As, a fourth having been lost in a crash in Afghanistan in 2020. The air force also flew three EQ-4B Global Hawks with the payload, but these were retired in 2021.


The Shephard News Team


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