As with civil aviation operators, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) must ready its aircraft fleet to comply with fast-approaching mandates to operate in the future global airspace system. Failure to meet those requirements will prevent operators from being able to take advantage of preferential routes and altitudes that will be available to properly equipped aircraft.
Battlefield Airborne Communications Node
Bombardier Aerospace recently delivered a Global 6000 to the U.S. Air Force, the fourth Global-series aircraft added to the existing USAF inventory with E-11A military designation. The Air Force plans to equip this new addition with the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, in time for deployment next summer. This system will allow battlefield communications systems to share data.
Still stunned by the Pentagon’s scrapping of the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk Block 30 program, Northrop Grumman said here at the show yesterday that it’s too early to determine whether the decision will impact the cost of other Pentagon UAV programs based on the big-winged jet. The Block 20 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN), the Block 40 Multi-Platform Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) and the U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) programs were all unaffected by the decision.
The Orion Air Group upped its profile by displaying a Gulfstream IISP modified as an R&D testbed at the Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, UK, in mid-July. The privately held U.S.-based group was founded about three years ago, and generated nearly $200 million in 2010 from special mission and corporate aircraft services. The latter are marketed under the Tempus Jets name.
It would take a miracle–in fact, two miracles–for network-centric operations (NCO) to become a reality. So says John Allen of the Advanced Technology Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA). Many companies in the defense industry claim to offer solutions for NCO, but only a few have demonstrated even minor miracles in the field.