Tuesday, June 18, 2024

NG gets new contract for BACN networking jets

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a task order to continue operations, sustainment, and support of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) system through January 2027.

This contract ensures the ongoing integration and functionality of BACN, a critical technology for communication and data interoperability between various systems, platforms, and sensors.

The BACN system, first deployed in 2008, plays a pivotal role in maintaining high-altitude airborne communications. It translates and distributes imagery, voice, and tactical data across different platforms and domains, significantly enhancing situational awareness and coordination for joint warfighters. The system is currently integrated on Bombardier E-11 aircraft, providing essential communications support to the Air Force and its partner missions.

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Northrop Grumman will provide operations and sustainment for current and future BACN payloads, as well as associated ground stations, ancillary equipment, support equipment, and system integration laboratories. Also continuous connectivity and operational support 24/7 for the U.S. Air Force and its critical partner missions.

The BACN payload is an extremely robust communications gateway that can rapidly send and receive data transmitted through various waveforms to and from a wide array of aerial platforms, as well as forces on the ground.

Under the new task order, Northrop Grumman will include the BACN platform in four large force customer exercises per year for the duration of the contract.

Kevin Berkowitz, vice president of secure processing and networks at Northrop Grumman, emphasized the importance of the BACN system in modern missions. “As a program of record with nearly a quarter million combat and non-combat flight hours, the commitment to the program’s sustainment demonstrates the indispensable role BACN plays in today’s missions. The battlespace is becoming increasingly complex, and the data interoperability BACN provides between legacy and emerging systems will be critical to future mission success. As a trusted partner, we are delivering the capabilities our customers need to respond to growing threats,” Berkowitz said.

The BACN system’s open architecture design, cyber-secure processing, and ability to integrate with advanced technologies make it a critical asset for Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control. The program’s extension underlines its vital role in enabling effective communication and coordination across diverse military platforms.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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