Introducing Bombardier Defense

Introducing Bombardier Defense

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft are vital for supporting the safety and security of nations promoting peace. The market is growing and on the cusp of a replacement cycle for aging platforms. In response, North American aircraft manufacturer Bombardier is bringing increased focus to serve this market.

Bombardier is renowned for a long history of manufacturing a wide range of exceptional aircraft and is now the leading manufacturer of business aircraft, known for their latest technical innovations, superior performance, efficiency, reliability and safety. Bombardier has also long been active in the defense sector and is a proven partner of governments worldwide. To bolster this activity and build on this heritage, Bombardier has launched the Bombardier Defense division headquartered at its Wichita, Kansas facility.

Formerly known as Bombardier Specialized Aircraft, the transformation to Bombardier Defense underscores the importance of the sector and the distinct nature of its activities. The transformation at the Bombardier U.S. headquarters strengthens its presence in the U.S. It confirms its long-term strategy to reposition the business as a critical supplier to the U.S. and other governments around the world.

The Wichita site is also home to the Bombardier Flight Test Center (BFTC) and the largest U.S. service center in Bombardier’s global network. The Wichita site traces its heritage back to the origins of business aviation and is known for its role in the many innovative products that Bombardier has produced over the past 80 years. This legacy is built upon an immensely experienced and dedicated team, who now bring their talents to support Bombardier Defense. Whether the task is flight testing and certification of a clean sheet design, upgrades and enhancement of current products, or maintenance and support for any of Bombardier’s fleet of nearly 5,000 business jets flying around the world, Wichita can do it all. Key to this capability, however, is the exceptionally close ties to Bombardier’s main engineering design organization in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and integration within the whole manufacturing and supply chain.


Leading the Defense team is Bombardier veteran Steve Patrick, Vice President of Bombardier Defense, who is well placed to use his rich wisdom garnered from heading Bombardier Specialized Aircraft. Applying a keen understanding of Bombardier’s aircraft platforms and their impressive capabilities, he is navigating the waypoints to position the new division as the provider of choice in the U.S., Canada and globally.

Bombardier Defense, launched in 2022, was born out of decades of experience providing special mission platforms for the most demanding assignments, ranging from urgent humanitarian assistance, head-of-state transport, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), airspace calibration, infrastructure validation and border patrol. Defense needs are significantly different from traditional business jet customers and the Bombardier Challenger and Global platforms offer the best aircraft for a wide range of missions. The division’s flexible offerings and collaborative ways of working with customers through extensive in-house design, build, test and certification capabilities is unmatched.

Creating a practical, functional airframe for a specific mission requires an intelligent approach, ingenuity, and imagination, which the Bombardier Defense team has in abundance. The defined requirements of the operators and their equipment are the primary considerations. Factors such as platform stability, electrical power, cooling, long endurance missions, extreme environmental conditions, and integration with civilian and military airspace are all design drivers. Bombardier Defense understands the interdependencies of those needs and has the proven experience to deliver a product that meets them.

With a rich history of programs completed, and more currently underway, Bombardier Defense is especially proud to support the US Air Force with a modified Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft acting as a sophisticated airborne tactical communications system. With a service ceiling of up to 51,000 ft and flight endurance of over 12 hours the mission is to provide reliable, uninterrupted datalink and voice networks in mountainous and challenging terrain between distinct platforms and operators who may otherwise be unable to communicate. The first E-11A aircraft, as it is designated when configured with Northrop Grumman’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node has already been delivered, with a further five options at a value of up to $465 million U.S. This is just one example of how a business aircraft can be adapted to another role in a cost effective and timely manner.

“One of the advantages touted by the AM industry is the ability to selectively change material properties by varying the process”

Steve and his colleagues are promoting Bombardier’s portfolio of products and capabilities for special mission purposes around the world. The applications range from surveillance to medical evacuations, to multi-mission aircraft. The solutions are developed in partnership with mission equipment providers around the world and often with local partnerships. Steve’s team is building on existing relationships and identifying and implementing new business opportunities to continue the growth of Bombardier Defense.

This breadth of knowledge, experience and innovation capability will ensure that Bombardier Defense is well positioned to rapidly respond to customer needs. The Bombardier Defense division harnesses all the company’s existing capabilities and delivers industry-leading solutions to a global customer base in a cost effective and collaborative manner. Bombardier aircraft already represent best-in-class power, range, reliability, endurance, and payload capability. The creation of Bombardier Defense ensures the right aircraft for the mission will be available to strategic operators worldwide.

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