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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 16:20
E-11A - Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)

E-11A - Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)


8 August 2014 airforce-technology.com


Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to continue the operation and support of the US Air Force's (USAF) battlefield airborne communications node (BACN) system.


Under the $89.7m contract's terms, the company will extend operational support of the BACN payloads in support of overseas contingency missions until June 2015.


Equipped with an airborne executive processor (AEP), BACN is a forward-deployed network-centric enterprise information server, developed to enable data sharing between different battlefield communications systems using a suite of computers and radio systems.


The high-altitude BACN payloads are integrated onto four E-11A Bombardier Global Express BD-700 aircraft and three EQ-4B Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.


Northrop Grumman Information Systems communications division vice-president and general manager Jeannie Hilger said: "BACN is making such a tremendous difference for our warfighters that it is regarded as indispensable for mission success.


"The amount of positive feedback BACN receives from our warfighters is a testament to the critical support BACN currently provides and an inspiration to continuously enhance the system's capabilities."


The BACN also provides an advanced airborne communications capability to commanders and troops, as well as enhancing situational awareness and extending voice communications.


Northrop expects BACN to serves as a persistent high-altitude gateway in the joint aerial layer network (JALN) to offer secure communications to disadvantaged soldiers and network connectivity across the theatre.


The JALN would be designed to expand on existing communications networks and capabilities and links ground, space and airborne military assets.


Northrop serves as prime contractor for the EQ-4B Global Hawk UAV and the development, fielding and maintenance of the BACN system, and received the first BACN contract from the US Air Force Electronic Systems Center in April 2005.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Northrop Grumman Flies First Production Smart Node Pod


SAN DIEGO – April 3, 2014 – Northrop Grumman


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has completed a series of flight tests demonstrating the first production Smart Node Pod for the U.S. Air Force.


Smart Node Pod is an aircraft-mounted airborne communications system that allows real-time information to be exchanged among many disparate military and commercial radios and different datalinks, extends the network to the forward edge of the battlefield and relays full-motion video.


Northrop Grumman conducted five flights to certify performance characteristics in February in Virginia Beach, Va. During the flights, the Smart Node Pod demonstrated the ability to transmit full-motion video, imagery, voice and digital messages between warfighters both in the air and on the ground via various waveforms and datalinks and its interoperability with the proprietary and open source forward tactical handheld devices.


The company is under contract to produce Smart Node Pod systems for the Air Force, with deliveries scheduled through mid-summer of this year. Two different pod designs – a single-pod and a multipod architecture – are in production.


"This proven, reliable technology gives an extremely capable but lightweight communications, situational awareness, and command and control capability that can be readily mounted on many different military aircraft and controlled by the deployed commander," said Jeannie Hilger, vice president, Network Communication Systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems.


Hilger said the pod can connect to the high-altitude Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) platforms, ground operational centers or other pods for beyond-line-of sight connectivity and provides access to high level intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data and command and control information. "In this manner, Smart Node Pod has the capability to augment BACN in its anchor role as the persistent high altitude gateway of the Joint Aerial Layer Network (JALN) by providing connectivity at the lower tier. Working in unison, Smart Node Pod and BACN have the potential to expand warfighter benefits by building out a multitiered JALN architecture and providing network connectivity across the battlespace."


Smart Node Pod is based on BACN technology Northrop Grumman developed for the Air Force.


Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for developing, deploying, operating and sustaining the BACN systems flying missions in support of U.S. Central Command. The company was awarded the first BACN contract in April 2005 by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. Since the system was deployed in 2008, it has delivered near 24/7 coverage in theater. Northrop Grumman initially deployed BACN to satisfy a joint urgent operational need. It is now a key enabler of surface and airborne missions theaterwide.


Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:20
E-11A - Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)

E-11A - Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN)


SAN DIEGO, Nov. 21 (UPI)


Northrop Grumman reports its Battlefield Airborne Communications Node for the U.S. Air Force has been used on 5,000 combat missions and proved its worth.


BACN is a high-altitude airborne system that translates and distributes voice communications, video and other battlespace communications from various sources for enhanced situational awareness and command-and-control coordination. It is being used in Afghanistan on four E-11A manned aircraft and three unmanned aerial systems.


"Initially deployed by Northrop Grumman to satisfy a joint urgent operational need, BACN is now a key enabler of surface and airborne missions theaterwide," said Mike Twyman, sector vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems division for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "BACN's continuous mission availability, quick reaction capability and flexibility have made it a real game changer in theater."


Northrop notes the system's beyond-line-of-sight communications capability has been particularly in Afghanistan by overcoming the communications limitations posed by the country's rugged terrain.


"We constantly get feedback from theater telling us how important BACN is for their missions," said Maj. William Holl, the Air Force BACN program manager at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. "Without BACN, ground forces would have to rely on much slower satellite communications -- and a few seconds can make all the difference when you are under fire."


BACN, developed by Northrop Grumman under a 2005 U.S. Air Force contract, was first deployed in 2008.

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 17:20
Bombardier Global Express Aircraft Configured as a BACN Aircraft, August 2007

Bombardier Global Express Aircraft Configured as a BACN Aircraft, August 2007

Sept. 17, 2013 by Dave Majumdar - FG


Northrop Grumman and Bombardier are set to deliver the last of four Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) aircraft to the US Air Force.


“There is going to be an official delivery ceremony in the coming weeks,” says Ben Boehm, Bombardier’s vice-president for sales and marketing. “It’s kinda up to the air force when they want to have the ceremony. The airplane is actually ready to go.”


The BACN, which will be used to facilitate communications between disparate US airborne assets, has been in development by Northrop since 2005. The idea was to use the communications node to translate data transmitted from stealthy fifth-generation fighters such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into a format usable by fourth-generation aircraft such as the Boeing F-15 Eagle and vice versa.


Originally, BACN was tested on board a NASA-operated Martin WB-57 Canberra bomber. However, a later prototype was installed on a Bombardier BD-700 business jet in 2011, which was ultimately designated as the E-11A.


After the success of the original E-11A prototype, which is being retained by the USAF, the service ordered three additional production aircraft based on the Bombardier Global Express 6000. It is the last of those three aircraft that is set to be delivered, Boehm says.


Boehm says that the USAF might order five more BACN II aircraft that would be somewhat modified from the current jets. Sensors, he says, are constantly evolving.


Bombardier says that further opportunities in the US market might arise from a programme to replace the USAF’s aging fleet of Northrop E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft. Service leaders, however, have said previously that while a business jet-derived JSTARS replacement is desirable, the USAF does not have the money to purchase such an aircraft.


Bombardier also hopes to leverage its new CSeries airframe for the military market, Boehm says. Two potential customers have already expressed interest in an airborne early warning platform based on the new aircraft.

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