An airborne communications network that has Northrop Grumman built for the U.S. Air Force since 2005 has completed 5,000 combat missions as of Nov. 9.
The Battlefield Airborne Communications Node also completed 50,000 combat flight hours of services as of Aug. 11, Northrop said Thursday.
Mike Twyman, Northrop Grumman Information Systems vice president and general manager for defense systems, said the company designed BACN for surface and airborne missions.
“Without BACN, ground forces would have to rely on much slower satellite communications — and a few seconds can make all the difference when you are under fire,” said Maj. William Holl, Air Force BACN program manager at Hanscom Air Force, Mass.
BACN, installed in four E-11A manned systems and three EQ-4B Block 20 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems, has supported the Air Force’s missions in Afghanistan and southwest Asia and was deployed in 2008.