The US Air Force’s (USAF) Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB) team has awarded a $464.8m contract to Bombardier’s Specialized Aircraft Division US subsidiary Learjet.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract has been awarded in support of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) programme.

The contract comes with an immediate firm order for one Global 6000 aircraft and funds for five additional Global 6000 aircraft.

The contract has a delivery period of five years.

BACN Aerial Networks Division procurement lead Elizabeth Rosa said: “These aircraft are required for continuous operations outside the contiguous United States in multiple theatres of operation.

“This acquisition will support the mission by expanding the current fleet to provide a service retained capability to rapidly respond to the operational needs of combatant commanders worldwide.”

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According to the USAF, three manned E-11As and four unmanned Global Hawk E-Q4Bs currently carry the BACN payload.

Once a Global 6000 aircraft has been equipped with BACN technology, it is classified as an E-11A. In the USAF, BACN aircraft are known as E-11A.

Since 2007, Bombardier has delivered four Global aircraft to the USAF for the BACN programme.

The BACN is an airborne communications relay and gateway system. It provides the capability to exchange voice and tactical data, as well as imagery from several land, air and sea sources.

Bombardier Specialized Aircraft Programs and Engineering executive vice-president Michel Ouellette said: “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.

“Our US-based employees are honoured to be lending their skills in support of this elite project.”

Bombardier Global 6000 is a luxurious business jet built by Bombardier Aerospace. The aircraft entered service in the first half of 2012.