WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Drive on Tuesday awarded Learjet a contract worth up to $465 million for Bombardier International 6000 business enterprise jets, which will be modified into the E-11A plane made use of to relay facts in between platforms that can not usually share data.
The contract instantly obligated $70 million to pay back for the first World 6000 out of a opportunity whole of six planes. That aircraft will turn into an E-11A when it is modified with Northrop Grumman’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node payload.
The Air Pressure gained $63 million for the E-11 system in fiscal 2021 to procure the initially plane. As element of its FY22 spending budget request, which was rolled out final 7 days, the service requested $124 million for another two E-11s.
The BACN payload supplies relay, bridging, and data translation for platforms that are not able to converse, both simply because they use distinct voice and knowledge connection techniques or are separated by mountains or other terrain that impedes a responsible connection.
The new E-11A aircraft would broaden the present-day fleet and permit the Air Drive to “rapidly answer to the operational desires of combatant commanders around the world,” Elizabeth Rosa, the Air Force’s BACN procurement lead, explained in a news release.
Presently, the Air Power retains seven aircraft with the BACN payload. The support was remaining with 3 E-11As — which are crewed by two pilots — after just one E-11 crashed in Afghanistan in January 2020. It also operates four EQ-4B International Hawk drones outfitted with the BACN payload.
At the time, the Air Drive mentioned it anticipated to invest in 5 E-11As to offset the divestment of the EQ-4B.
Function on the contract is anticipated to be accomplished in May 2026, in accordance to the deal announcement.