Northrop Grumman has announced on 19 July that company delivered a Global Hawk autonomous aircraft carrying the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) to the U.S. Air Force fleet.
BACN – also developed by Northrop Grumman — is a high-altitude, airborne gateway that translates and distributes voice communications, and other battlespace information from numerous sources.
BACN bridges the gaps between those systems and extends communications among disparate users and networks to provide improved situational awareness.
BACN has completed more than 10,000 combat missions connecting warfighters in the air and on the ground.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is the premier provider of persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information. Able to fly at high altitudes for greater than 30 hours, Global Hawk is designed to gather near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather – day or night.
Global Hawk has amassed more than 200,000 flight hours with missions flown in support of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Africa, and the greater Asia-Pacific region. The system provides an affordable and flexible platform for multiple sensor payloads to be used together, delivering mission-critical information to various users around the world.