BACN reaches 100,000

Four Bombardier Global aircraft were acquired by the US Air Force for the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) role and designated E-11A. US Air Force

The US Air Force’s fleet of four Bombardier E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) aircraft achieved 100,000 flight hours, Bombardier announced on September 18, 2019.

The aircraft are based on the BD700 Global executive jet series and the fleet is made up of one Global Express, delivered in 2007, to Global Express XRS aircraft and a Global 6000. The four aircraft were modified by Bombardier’s Specialised Aircraft facility in Wichita, Kansas and all are designated E-11A by the US Air Force.

The fleet is operated by the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron (EECS), part of the 451st Expeditionary Operations Group, operating from Kandahar in Afghanistan.

The BACN mission provides communications connectivity across the mountainous theatre of operations within Afghanistan, acting as a relay aircraft in support of airborne and surface operations. The BACN mission will also involve the Northrop Grumman EQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

Bombardier said the BACN aircraft have regularly flown in excess of 18 hours a day for months at a time over Afghanistan.

Steve Patrick, Vice President of Bombardier Specialised Aircraft, said: “We are extremely proud of the outstanding reliability and performance of the Global aircraft platform as part of this elite assignment. This 100,000 flighthour milestone is a testament to the aircraft’s performance and endurance, clearly demonstrating that the Global Platform excels in demanding situations.”