April 3rd, 2009 in Breaking News
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Global Express ‘mystery aircraft’ deployed to Afghanistan.
Bombardier Global Express aircraft 9001 has been deployed to Kandahar to provide what Jane’s believes to be a Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) capability for the coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan.
Currently registered (as N901XG) to Learjet, aircraft 9001 has also acted as the aerodynamic prototype for the UK’s Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) programme.
In the BACN context, N901GX is understood to have been fitted out for the role by US contractor MELE Associates’ Pelekona Integration Team under a three-year US Air Force (USAF) contract that is valued at USD29.3 million. According to MELE, Pelekona has been tasked with integrating communications equipment into “varied [airborne] host platforms”.
In specific BACN terms, MELE/Pelekona is known to have installed the architecture aboard N901GX in time for it to participate (as a BACN testbed) in the USAF’s 2008 Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX).