Northrop Grumman’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node has completed 3,000 missions flying aboard the E-11A Bombardier Global Express BD-700 aircraft in support of overseas contingency missions.
The 451st Tactical Airborne Gateway at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, executed the 3,000th mission on July 14.
BACN is a high-altitude, airborne communications and information gateway system that provides situational awareness and command and control coordination between war fighters and commanders. With a suite of computers and radio systems, BACN bridges and extends voice communications and battlespace information from numerous sources.
Northrop Grumman was recently awarded a $106 million contract modification to extend the deployment and operation of BACN payloads installed in three E-11A aircraft and three EQ-4B Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles. The award supports operations through June 2013.
Northrop Grumman developed BACN for the U.S. Air Force to overcome the communications limitations posed by the rugged terrain in Afghanistan. Since the system was deployed in 2008, it has delivered near 24/7 coverage in theater.
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 by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (formerly the Electronic Systems Center), Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.