Northrop Grumman Battlefield Airborne Communications Node Completes 100,000 Flight Hours

By Mike Ball / 09 Feb 2016
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Northrop Grumman BACNNorthrop Grumman Corporation has announced that its Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN), developed for the U.S. Air Force, has achieved 100,000 combat operational flight hours providing critical communications capabilities to warfighters.

BACN is a high-altitude, airborne communications gateway that translates and distributes imagery, video, voice and data, often from disparate elements, enhancing situational awareness, communications and coordination for warfighters in the air and on the ground. BACN can act as a high-altitude relay and has been used for missions such as airdrop and airstrike operations.

BACN flies on seven separate aircraft – and two aircraft platforms – to provide persistent connectivity and operational support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. BACN currently operates on four E-11As, a modified Bombardier business jet, and three EQ-4Bs, Global Hawk Comms Gateway unmanned aircraft systems.

BACN achieved the 100,000 mile milestone flying more than 8,300 missions since the system was first deployed in October 2008. BACN has delivered a mission availability rate above 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 Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact
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