PALMDALE, Calif., Oct. 23, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) delivered a Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to the U.S. Air Force carrying the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) – expanding airborne communications and information sharing among military units in harsh environments. http://media.globenewswire.com/noc/mediagallery.html?pkgid=15367 Northrop Grumman produced and delivered the system four months ahead of schedule as part of an ongoing BACN development, operations and maintenance contract to support U.S. Central Command missions. "By pairing BACN and Global Hawk, military commanders can provide the system's critical capabilities during a single flight lasting more than 30 hours," said George Guerra, Global Hawk unmanned air systems vice president with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "This is important when ground units operate in mountainous terrain where land-based communications systems don't function as well." BACN bridges and extends voice communications and information sharing from numerous sources using a suite of computers and radio systems. It's also installed on two other EQ-4B Global Hawk aircraft and three E-11A Bombardier Global Express BD-700 aircraft. "Our military counts on the enhanced combat effectiveness provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week by the BACN gateway capability. With another BACN system flying on Global Hawk, the team continues to provide unsurpassed communications capabilities at exceptional operational availability rates," said Claude Hashem, vice president of network communications systems business with Northrop Grumman Information Systems.