AF Takes E-11 Aircraft for use in SW Asia.

DA SWO

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This is from my daily AF Association update so I can't provide a link.
This interested me because
A) I am retired ANG and interested in all things aviation.
B) I am happy that management is finally understanding that long term contractors cost more then long-term military.
C) We have been woofing the long war shit for years, but it seems those in-charge were still hoping to end it in the next 48 months. I think folks are really starting to understand that this may be a 30-40 year war, and are gearing up for it.
D) I also think big blue is going to buy more of these for use elsewhere (JMHO).

Air Force Prepares to Welcome E-11A: The Air Force has announced the purchase of a Bombardier BD-700 Global Express aircraft for use as an overhead communications-relay platform in Southwest Asia. This aircraft carries Northrop Grumman's Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, which allows disparate battlefield communications systems to share data. The Air Force had been leasing this aircraft, but then decided it would make more business sense to purchase it. "The prime contractor understands the military is looking to effectively use every dollar provided and worked hand-in-hand with the government team to facilitate the transition of this new platform into the [Air Force] inventory," a spokesman for the Electronics System Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., told the Daily Report Thursday. The Air Force is expected to take possession of the aircraft in July, after which it will assume the designation E-11A. Air Force officials have spoken of installing BACN on three BD-700s and then ontwo Global Hawk Block 20 remotely piloted aircraft in order to fill the urgent need of the combatant commander in Southwest Asia for more battlefield communications capability. (DOD June 10 contract list) (For background, see also Northrop's July 2009 release.)
 

DA SWO

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From today's AFA Newsmail.

I find it interesting that the Global Hawks will be re-designated. I thought the advantage to RPV's was the ability to re-configure into a new mission suite, guess that didn't pan out. Funny how the manned asset is touted as a rapid response element, but the RPV has the "long legs". Wonder what the real issue is.

Recognizing BACN's Electronic Role:
Both of the Air Force's Battlefield Airborne Communications Node-equipped aircraft have received new designations intended to reflect BACN's "special electronic mission," announced Northrop Grumman. The Bombardier Global Express BD-700, which is used as an overhead communication's relay platform in Southwest Asia, has been
, while the BACN-
will now be known as EQ-4Bs, according to a Northrop Grumman
. "This new designation of the manned and unmanned BACN aircraft reflects a unique aircraft mix that provides theater commanders complimentary capabilities to support the BACN missions," said Claude Hashem, vice president and general manager of Northrop's Network Communications Systems business. "The E-11A business jets provide rapid tactical deployment options, while the EQ-4B unmanned systems provide long endurance and unsurpassed persistence capabilities." The Air Force awarded Northrop a $43 million, five-month contract extension in September to operate, support, and maintain the services two E-11As and to operate and maintain the BACN payload, according to the release.
 

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Wonder what happened to the King Airs? Also, why did the AF field ROBE pallets and now BACN?
 

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By King Air do you mean MC-12; they are still in the fight.
Can't answer the second question.

The original versions were on King Air airframes, same as the MC-12, but not the MC-12. I have not seen the jets.

The second was more rhetorical, but there are few differences between the two.

BACN has a limitations, but I won't discuss those on an open forum. Like any system, flaws exist.
 

DA SWO

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The original versions were on King Air airframes, same as the MC-12, but not the MC-12. I have not seen the jets.

The second was more rhetorical, but there are few differences between the two.

BACN has a limitations, but I won't discuss those on an open forum. Like any system, flaws exist.
The King Airs were designated MC-12.
The bought used aircraft thinking it would save time, LOL.
 
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