Northrop Grumman’s battlefield airborne communications node (BACN) has successfully completed 10,000 combat missions with the US Air Force (USAF).
The high-altitude, airborne gateway has been designed to translate and distribute voice communications, video, imagery and other battle space information from numerous sources.
BACN uses a suite of computers and radio systems to bridge and extend communications among disparate users and different data link networks.
Combined with four E-11A manned systems and three Northrop Grumman EQ-4B Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems, the BACN has supported missions in Southwest Asia.
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems communications business vice-president Jeannie Hilger said: “This is a significant milestone as the BACN system continues to demonstrate it is absolutely indispensable to our war fighters in the execution of their missions.
“Airborne Gateways greatly increase situational awareness and command and control, capabilities that are equally critical for joint and coalition operations.”
The BACN facilitates better command and control coordination between soldiers and commanders. It provides persistent connectivity to execute a number of missions, including airdrops and overall air operations.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for developing, deploying, operating and sustaining BACN in support of US Central Command.
The company also maintains the BACN E-11A aircraft platforms.