AF extends airborne comms relay program in Afghanistan

The Air Force on June 27 awarded a $782 million sole-source contract to Northrop Grumman to continue supporting a key airborne communications relay system in Afghanistan through September 2015, reports NextGov.

The rugged terrain of Afghanistan interferes with line-of-sight communications systems that ground troops use, and the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node offers a way around that problem by serving as a high-altitude antenna, the story said. BACN incorporates gateway hardware and software that Northrop Grumman says can bridge the gap between multiple communications systems operating on different frequencies and modulation.

The new contract covers continued operation of three manned BD-700 jets and two Global Hawks and ground control systems, the story said 

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