SAN DIEGO, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has exercised a contract option with Northrop Grumman for operational support of a battlefield communications system.
The system is BACN, or the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, a high-altitude, airborne communications and information system that connects air and ground forces.
BACN distributes voice communications, video, imagery and other battlespace information from numerous sources to improve situational awareness and enable better coordination among warfighters and commanders.
"BACN is making such a tremendous difference for our warfighters that it is regarded as indispensable for mission success," said Jeannie Hilger, vice president and general manager, communications division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "The amount of positive feedback BACN receives from our warfighters is a testament to the critical support BACN currently provides and an inspiration to continuously enhance the system's capabilities."
Four BACN E-11A systems and three BACN EQ-4B Global Hawk systems have been deployed by the Air Force in support of operations in Afghanistan.
The contract option for continued operation and support of BACN is worth $89.7 million the company said.
BACN has been deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom since 2008.