The US Air Force (USAF) has designated two Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) platforms as the E-11A and the EQ-4B.

The Bombardier Global Express BD-700 has been designated E-11A, while the Northrop Grumman RQ-4Bs modified to host the BACN system are redesignated as EQ-4Bs.

The newly designated manned and unmanned BACN aircraft will provide enhanced theatre commanders with complimentary capabilities to support the BACN missions.

The BACN system provides an advanced airborne communications capability to commanders and war-fighters, as well as enhancing situational awareness and extending voice communications.

Northrop received a $43m extension contract from the USAF earlier this year for the operation and maintenance of BACN payload, and to operate, support and maintain two E-11A aircraft.