June 02, 2021

Bombardier Specialized Aircraft Confirms Deal with U.S. Air Force for up to Six More Global Aircraft in Special Mission Configuration

  • Global business jets are the backbone of the U.S. Air Force Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) program, and a go-to platform for special missions around the world
  • BACN aircraft, known in the U.S. Air Force as the E-11A, are developed and modified by Bombardier’s highly skilled engineering teams in Wichita, Kansas
  • Contract, which includes one firm aircraft order, underscores Bombardier’s status as a key U.S. aerospace employer

Bombardier is pleased to confirm an agreement between its Learjet Inc. subsidiary and the U.S. Air Force in support of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) program. The Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract provides the USAF with flexible ordering and includes an immediate firm order for one Global 6000 aircraft, with as many as five additional Global 6000 aircraft. The contract, which includes engineering and modification work, represents a potential total value of close to $465 million U.S.

Bombardier has already delivered four Global aircraft to the U.S. Air Force since 2007 for the BACN program, an airborne relay that extends communication ranges, bridges between radio frequencies and “translates” among incompatible communications systems. BACN aircraft are known in the U.S. Air Force as the E-11A.

“Bombardier is proud to be chosen once again by the U.S. Air Force to provide our high-performing Global aircraft and our unique expertise in support of the BACN program,” said Michel Ouellette, Executive Vice President, Specialized Aircraft, Programs and Engineering, Bombardier. “Our U.S.-based employees are honored to be lending their skills in support of this elite project.”

Bombardier teams in the U.S., 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 will provide the aircraft’s interior and eventually perform the exterior painting work.

Proud to be a major employer in the U.S. 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 U.S. Air Force's BACN program while increasing work for Kansas aviation manufacturers is a win for the Air Capital of the World and for our country,” said U.S. 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 U.S. 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 center. I look forward to continuing to support the Air Force’s BACN program as a member of the Appropriations Committee.”   

Bombardier Global aircraft, renowned in the business aviation industry for range, spaciousness and a smooth ride, are a proven, go-to platform for special government missions thanks to their speed, payload capacity, built-in power redundancy, reliability and endurance.

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. For more information, please visit specializedaircraft.bombardier.com

About Bombardier

Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game-changing planes. Our products and services provide world-class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of more than 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.

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Bombardier, Global and Global 6000 are registered or unregistered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

Louise Solomita
Communications & Public Affairs Advisor