On 1 June 2021, the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) programme office at Hanscom AFB (MA) awarded a USD 464.8 million contract to Learjet, Inc., a US subsidiary of the Specialised Aircraft Division of Bombardier Inc., for up to six Bombardier E-11A (Global 6000) aircraft with a five-year delivery period.
Earlier the USAF announced that E-11As, replacing the Boeing E-8C JSTARS aircraft, will possibly be based at Robins AFB (GA).
The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity agreement provides funds for up to six Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft with a five-year delivery period. It was stated that these aircraft are required for continuous operations outside the contiguous United States in multiple theatres of operation.
This BACN acquisition will support the mission by expanding the current fleet to provide a service retained capability to rapidly respond to the operational needs of combatant commanders worldwide. BACN technology enables real-time information flow across the battlespace between similar and dissimilar tactical data link and voice systems through relay, bridging, and data translation in line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight situations.
Because of its flexible deployment options and ability to operate at high altitudes, BACN allows air and surface forces to overcome communications difficulties caused by mountains, rough terrain, or distance.