Business

November 22, 2013

Northrop Grumman’s BACN completes 5,000 combat missions

The Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, developed by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Air Force, has completed 5,000 combat missions connecting warfighters in the air and on the ground.

BACN is a high-altitude, airborne gateway that translates and distributes voice communications, video, imagery and other battlespace information from numerous sources. Using a suite of computers and radio systems, BACN bridges and extends communications among disparate users and different datalink networks to provide situational awareness and enable better command and control coordination between warfighters and commanders.

The BACN fleet comprises four E-11A manned systems and three Northrop Grumman EQ-4B Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems. BACN supports missions executed by the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, and by the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. Together, the 430th and the 380th reached the 5,000 combat mission milestone Nov. 9, 2013.

“Initially deployed by Northrop Grumman to satisfy a joint urgent operational need, BACN is now a key enabler of surface and airborne missions theaterwide,” said Mike Twyman, sector vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems division for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “BACN’s continuous mission availability, quick reaction capability and flexibility have made it a real game changer in theater.”

The persistent connectivity BACN provides is used to successfully execute a number of missions, including airdrops and overall air operations. The system’s beyond-line-of-sight capability has been particularly useful overcoming the communications limitations posed by Afghanistan’s rugged terrain.
“We constantly get feedback from theater telling us how important BACN is for their missions,” said Maj. William Holl, the Air Force BACN program manager at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. “Without BACN, ground forces would have to rely on much slower satellite communications ñ and a few seconds can make all the difference when you are under fire.”

BACN achieved another major milestone on Aug. 11, 2013, completing 50,000 combat flight hours of service.

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for developing, deploying, operating and sustaining BACN in support of U.S. Central Command. Northrop Grumman maintains the BACN E-11A aircraft platforms; the U.S. Air Force maintains the EQ-4B Global Hawk platforms.

Northrop Grumman was awarded the first BACN contract in April 2005 by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (previously the Air Force Electronics Systems Center), Hanscom Air Force Base. Since the system was deployed in 2008, it has delivered near 24/7 coverage in theater.




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


 
 

 
Boeing photograph

Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft ready for demonstration flights

Boeing photograph The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft program is ready for customer demonstration flights, having completed the baseline ground and flight testing of the aircraft mission systems. The Boeing Maritime Surve...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney concludes PurePowerÆ geared turbofan engine partnering

Pratt & Whitney and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. met recently to commemorate the signing of a risk and revenue-sharing collaboration agreement for KHI to provide key hardware modules for Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower Geared Turbofan engines. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. Pratt & Whitney currently has 10 worldwide GTF collaboration...
 
 

U.S. Navy approves F/A-18 Super Hornet IRST system for production

The F/A-18 Super Hornet infrared search and track system, developed and integrated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, received approval from the U.S. Navy to enter low-rate initial production. The IRST system consists of Lockheed Martin’s IRST21 sensor, the GE Aviation FPU-13 Fuel Tank Assembly and the Meggitt Defense Industry Environmental Control unit. The system demonstrated...
 

 

DRS Technologies to upgrade electronic warfare E/A-18 mission for U.S., Australia

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company,†announced Jan. 22 that it has been awarded access to an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production and delivery of up to 180 Joint Tactical Terminal-Receivers for U.S. Navy and Australian EA-18G aircraft. The contract is valued up to $12 million and will include JTT-R production engineering, test set racks, fixtures...
 
 

DRS Technologies’ groundbreaking laser designating gimbal completes first flight test

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, announced Jan. 21 that it successfully performed the first airborne demonstration of its GS205-XRZ laser designating gimbal. At less than six inches in diameter and weighing less than nine pounds, the GS205 is one of the smallest stabilized, light-weight and fully qualified targeting systems on the market. During its...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Lockheed Martin delivers first enhanced automated testing station for U.S. Navy aircraft fleet

Lockheed Martin image The electronic Consolidated Automated Support System (eCASS) maximizes aircraft readiness. Lockheed Martin has delivered the first electronic Consolidated Automated Support System to the U.S. Navy for maxi...
 




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>