Bombardier Inc. will set up its U.S. headquarters in Wichita, KS, where it has manufacturing and service operations for Learjet, Challenger and Global business-jet programs. In addition, the Montreal-based aircraft builder is rebranding its expanded Specialized Aircraft division as Bombardier Defense.
Noting its involvement in the defense market is an area targeted for growth, Bombardier said the Defense business will incorporate OEM design, manufacturing, and certification expertise to provide defense-focused products hosted on Bombardier aircraft platforms.
As evidence of that, Bombardier Defense announced new orders for modified versions of its Global 6000 aircraft as part of a potential, $465-million U.S. Air Force order for the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) program. Last year, Bombardier drew a USAF contract to modify up to six Global 6000 business jets to become E11-A BACN aircraft – the piloted component of an airborne communications relay and gateway system that will maintain real-time information flow in the “battlespace” for similar and dissimilar tactical data and voice systems, via relay, bridging, and data translation in “line of sight” and “beyond line of sight” situations.
“Wichita was the obvious choice as the home of Bombardier’s new U.S. headquarters and Bombardier Defense,” stated Éric Martel, president and CEO, Bombardier. “For more than 60 years, the established skills and expertise from the Air Capital of the World is second to none, and this latest confirmation from the United States Air Force is a testament to the confidence they have in our aircraft and importantly, in the strength of our people in Wichita.”