Bombardier Defense and Learjet Inc. have delivered their first Global 6000 aircraft with a special mission configuration to the US Air Force at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.
The aircraft will support the force’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) installation program, which provides real-time information exchange between the battlefield tactical data links and voice systems of air and ground forces.
The BACN-equipped Globals are part of the E-11A fleet.
Bombardier is working on the Global BACN installations at a new facility in Wichita, Kansas, while a separate team in Tucson, Arizona, completes the plane’s interior and exterior works.
“We are proud that our jets and know-how are being increasingly recognized around the world in this sphere, and this delivery is a milestone, first of its kind since appointing Wichita as the home base for Bombardier Defense,” Bombardier President and CEO Éric Martel said.
Battlefield Airborne Communications Node
BACN technology maintains critical communication regardless of external conditions. The platform increases situational awareness by correlating tactical and operational air and ground environments.
“The BACN program reduces communication issues associated with incompatible systems, adverse terrain, and distance,” USAF Program Manager Lt. Col. Eric Inkerbrandt explained.
“BACN increases interoperability, resulting in forces executing faster, more reliably, and with less risk to the warfighter. The delivery…is the pivotal first step to advancing the mission this program provides,” he added.
BACN is called the “Wi-Fi in the sky” due to its flexibility of airborne communication, according to Bombardier.
“Our best-in-class Global aircraft platform offers the complete package — proven reliability, significant payload capacity, ample available power, and the highest degree of stability to support sensitive equipment,” Bombardier Defense Vice President Steve Patrick said.
Modifying Up to Six Global 6000 Jets
The delivery is part of a contract signed in 2021 for $464.8 million to modify up to six Global 6000 jets.
The air force announced plans to purchase additional aircraft annually through 2025 under the contract.
Deliveries of the second and third Globals are scheduled for later this year and in 2023.
Alongside the 2021 contract, the air force received four Global aircraft with the E-11A mission configuration for the BACN program as part of a separate agreement.