US Air Force officially designates aircraft flying Battlefield Airborne Communications Node system and extends contract with Northrop Grumman

SAN DIEGO, CA. Nov. 3, 2011. The two different aircraft platforms that fly the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) system, developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), have been officially designated by the U.S. Air Force as the E-11A and the EQ-4B.

Nov 3rd, 2011

Posted by Skyler Frink

SAN DIEGO, CA. Nov. 3, 2011. The two different aircraft platforms that fly the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) system, developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), have been officially designated by the U.S. Air Force as the E-11A and the EQ-4B.

The Bombardier Global Express BD-700 received the new E-11A designation, reflecting BACN's special electronic mission role. The Northrop Grumman Global Hawk RQ-4Bs modified to host the BACN system have been re-designated as EQ-4Bs.

On Sept. 21, the Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $43 million, five-month contract extension to operate, support and maintain two E-11A aircraft and to operate and maintain the BACN payload.

BACN is a high-altitude, airborne communications gateway system that maintains operational communications support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The persistent connectivity BACN provides situational awareness and enables coordination between forward-edge warfighters and commanders.

Since the system was first deployed to support Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2008, BACN has flown more than 25,000 operational hours in over 2,500 missions and delivered a mission availability rate of 98 percent.

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 Air Force Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, MA.

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