Global Hawk UAV airborne communications payload supplied by Northrop Grumman

SAN DIEGO. Northrop Grumman won a U.S. Air Force $2.7 million contract to integrate two more Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) payloads on two Global Hawk Block 20 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The BACN is a high-altitude, airborne information and communications gateway system for maintaining operational communications support seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The payload provides persistent connectivity to improve situational awareness and enable better coordination among forward-edge warfighters and commanders. The BACN bridges and extends voice communications and situational awareness information from various sources using computers and radio systems.

Once the BACN payloads are integrated on the Block 20 Global Hawks, the UAV will be designated as USAF EQ-4B .

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the development, maintenance, and fielding of the BACN system and the RQ-4 UAV.

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