Military Embedded Systems

Northrop Grumman to provide additional BACN support for USAF


May 07, 2013

Sharon Hess

Military Embedded Systems

The U.S. Air Force recently awarded Northrop Grumman Space and Missile Systems Corp. in San Diego, CA an $89 million contract modification for more Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) payload logistics and operations support.

The modification stipulates that the contractor covers all equipment, resources, labor, and other direct expenses, in addition to contractor personnel travel costs for operation and deployment support for BACN systems already fielded.

Work will occur at various OCONUS deployment locales and in San Diego, CA, with completion anticipated by June 2014. The contracting activity is the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/HNAK, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts.

BACN aims to increase situational awareness when things such as mountainous terrains could otherwise reduce line-of-sight comms and weapons systems’ abilities to intercommunicate; also, when operating units might be able to view only a fraction of the total operational picture. BACN is designed to resolve these challenges via its gateway-providing Airborne Executive Processor (AEP), which gathers, bridges, and disseminates comms from and to all battlefield participants to create whole-picture battlefield situational awareness capability among all command levels and ground units.

First deployed in BD700 manned aircraft, BACN is now integrated into Global Hawk unmanned systems as well.


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