U.S. Air Force Acquiring Global 6000s for Battlefield Ops

 - June 2, 2021, 11:23 AM
A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node-equipped E-11A aircraft rolls out on the flight line at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts in July 2018. On June 1, the BACN program office at that base awarded a $464.8 million contract to Learjet, Inc., a Wichita, Kansas subsidiary of Bombardier's specialized aircraft division, for six Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Mark Herlihy)

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $464.8 million contract to Learjet Inc., a Wichita subsidiary of Bombardier’s specialized aircraft division, for the purchase and modification of six Global 6000s as Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) aircraft. Designated as the E-11A and assigned to Air Combat Command, the modified large-cabin business jet model serves as a high-altitude, loitering communications node to air and ground forces, providing them with the ability to communicate by voice as well as share data, video, and images.

Bombardier’s Global Express served as an earlier version of the E-11A with four copies in the Air Force's inventory beginning in 2007. This new contract, announced yesterday by the Department of Defense, calls for deliveries to occur over the next five years, through May 2026.

Procurement funds in the amount of $70 million have already been made available for an initial delivery order, according to the Air Force.