Bombardier’s Learjet subsidiary has signed an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with the US Air Force to support its Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) programme.
The flexible contract includes an immediate firm order for one Global 6000, and as many as five more. The contract includes engineering and modification work and represents a potential total value of close to US$465m (€381.8m).
Bombardier has already delivered four Global aircraft to the US Air Force since 2007 for the BACN programme, an airborne relay that extends communication ranges, bridges between radio frequencies and “translates” among incompatible communications systems. BACN aircraft are known in the US Air Force as the E-11A.
“Bombardier is proud to be chosen once again by the US Air Force to provide our high-performing Global aircraft and our unique expertise in support of the BACN programme,” said Michel Ouellette, executive vice president of specialised aircraft, programmes and engineering at Bombardier. “Our USA-based employees are honoured to be lending their skills in support of this elite project.”
Bombardier teams in the USA, who continue to provide in-service support and upgrades to the current BACN fleet, are poised to begin work on the next BACN aircraft in the coming days. Engineers and technicians at Bombardier Specialized Aircraft’s Center of Excellence in Wichita, Kansas, will modify the Global platform to support the communications equipment required for the mission, while teams in Tucson, Arizona, will provide the aircraft’s interior and eventually perform the exterior painting work.
Proud to be a major employer in the US aviation sector, Bombardier works with local colleges and technical schools to help inspire and train the next generation of aerospace professionals.
Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) had the following statement: “I am pleased to see that the Air Force is following through on its purchase of another E-11A aircraft to support battlefield communications for forward-deployed forces. These planes are engineered and outfitted for the Air Force right here in Wichita, and this purchase is the latest example of Kansans supporting our national security operations back at home.”
“Supporting the US Air Force’s BACN programme while increasing work for Kansas aviation manufacturers is a win for the air capital of the world and for our country,” said US representative Ron Estes (R-Kansas). “These Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft modified and tested in Wichita give our airmen a competitive advantage in flight and communication.”
“I’m proud to support the Air Force’s acquisition of additional E-11A BACN aircraft from Bombardier,” said US representative Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Arizona). “The BACN aircraft fleet connects our warfighters and allies during critical missions and supports highly skilled jobs right here in Tucson at Bombardier’s service centre. I look forward to continuing to support the Air Force’s BACN programme as a member of the Appropriations Committee.”
Bombardier Specialized Aircraft designs, develops and delivers a range of capabilities to operators around the world for a wide variety of missions including surveillance and reconnaissance, medical evacuations and VIP transport. Solutions range from turnkey packages comprising the complete design, building, testing and certification activity, through to specialist engineering support and technical oversight of customer-specific projects.