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US Air Force adds new aircraft to BACN fleet

The Battlefield Airborne Communication Node, or BACN, team at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., recently added a new aircraft to their fleet.

The aircraft is the first to be delivered under the BACN program management office’s $464.8-million contract with Learjet, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of the Specialized Aircraft Division of Bombardier Inc. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract from last June provides funds for up to six Global 6000 aircraft.

Bombardier supplied the Global 6000 aircraft during a delivery ceremony at their Hartford, Connecticut facility Sept. 1. The event was attended by over 30 program personnel, including the BACN materiel leader, Lt. Col. Eric Inkenbrandt.

“The delivery of this aircraft is a major milestone as our program pushes to provide more highly sought after capabilities to our teammates downrange,” he said.
BACN technology reduces line-of-sight issues by enabling real-time information flow across the battlespace between similar and dissimilar tactical data link and voice systems through relay, bridging, and data translation.

Once a Global 6000 is outfitted with BACN technology, it is reclassified as an E-11A. Currently, three E-11A aircraft carry the BACN payload.

Because of its flexible deployment options and ability to operate at high altitudes, BACN allows air and surface forces to overcome communications difficulties caused by mountains, rough terrain, or distance. BACN provides critical information to all operational echelons, which increases situational awareness by correlating tactical and operational air and ground environments.

“Our work could not be accomplished without the collaboration between our Hanscom program office and mission partners,” said Inkenbrandt. “This ceremony, and the acceptance of this aircraft, is a symbol of all of the hard work that that has gone into enabling the greater mission.”

The second aircraft is expected to be delivered later in 2022, followed by another in 2023.

The BACN team also contracted with Northrop Grumman Mission Systems for integration, sustainment, and support of the BACN program. Click here to read more about that effort.

The BACN program office is a branch of the Aerial Networks Division of the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorate, headquartered at Hanscom AFB, Mass.

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