Defense

November 26, 2012

Contract award helps keep BACN airborne

Tags:
Patty Welsh
Hanscom AFB, Mass.


The Space, Aerial and Nuclear Network Division here recently awarded a firm-fixed-price contract to Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. for long-term platform maintenance on four E-11A aircraft.

The current amount awarded is $48 million, which is for a one-year base. There are four one-year options, which could eventually bring the value to $260 million.

The E-11A aircraft are modified Bombardier business jets outfitted with the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, payload that enables interoperability across voice and datalink networks. It also provides beyond-line-of-sight capability and voice and data relay to allow for critical communications between air and ground forces.

In addition to the business jets, BACN is also installed on three Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft.

“BACN can relay and broadcast a variety of information and is currently being used very effectively by warfighters throughout the theater of operations,” said Maj. Bill Holl, program manager. “By awarding this contract we can ensure continued maintenance is performed on the E-11A aircraft to keep this crucial capability available to the war fighters.”

Program officials expect this work to be complete by February 2018. The contract is in support of the BACN Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) and the majority of the performance is expected to be done in Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

“We had a full and open competition, which allowed us to make sure we got the best value for the government and, ultimately, the taxpayer, and also ensures the E-11A aircraft are maintained in the most effective and efficient manner to support tactical communications,” said Holl.
The BACN JUON program began as an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration in 2006 to meet the challenges associated with operating in mountainous terrain, such as limited line-of-sight. In 2009, it became a Joint Urgent Operational Need program to provide support to Operation Enduring Freedom.

“The BACN program was initiated to provide increased situational awareness for our warfighters by allowing for connectivity between dissimilar systems,” said Holl. “The team continues to look for ways to optimize BACN’s capabilities and provide even more support to the warfighter.”

Since the first aircraft with BACN deployed in 2008, the fleet has flown more than 3,000 missions and 30,000 hours in support of OEF.
“The program office continues to receive praise from warfighters and commanders alike saying how BACN is a game changer,” said Holl.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 21, 2014

News: Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him - Almost 10 years after the friendly fire death of former NFL star turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, a fellow ranger admits that he may have been the one who fired the fatal shot.   Business: Ship study should favor existing designs -...
 
 

News Briefs April 21, 2014

Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules The U.S. Navy has endorsed changes to submarine sailors’ schedules based on research into sleep patterns by a military laboratory in Connecticut. With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance...
 
 

NASA cargo launches to space station aboard SpaceX resupply mission

Nearly 2.5 tons of NASA science investigations and cargo are on the way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:25 p.m., EDT, April 18. The mission is the company’s third...
 

 

Second series of CASIS-sponsored research payloads launch to ISS

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space is proud to announce several sponsored research payloads have launched to the International Space Station onboard the Space Exploration Technology Corporation’s Dragon cargo capsule. This marks the second series of investigations headed to the station that are sponsored by CASIS, the nonprofit responsible for managing research...
 
 

Boeing to give California workers $47 million in back pay

PALMDALE, Calif. – Boeing will pay $47 million to hundreds of current and former Southern California employees who are owed back pay and benefits, a union announced April 18. An arbitrator ruled against the aerospace giant in January and laid down guidelines for the payments and interest, but it took months to cull through records...
 
 

NASA selects commercial crew program manager

NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Lueders, who has served as acting program manager since October 2013, will help keep the nation’s space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies. “This is a particularly critical time for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>