The French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction générale de l’armement) has awarded the RIFAN 2.1contract to Rohde & Schwarz, Airbus and Naval Group. The contract covers services to maintain and adapt the existing RIFAN 2 (Réseau IP de la Force Aéronavale étape 2) IP network for the French naval forces to integrate new ships and remedy hardware and software sustainment in the coming years.
The new contract expands on the first contract that was agreed in 2008. The object of this first contract was to develop and implement an IP capable communications system for use during training exercises and missions on ships, submarines and aircraft belonging to the French naval air and land forces. Rohde & Schwarz has now been commissioned with maintaining the existing radio communications up to 2027.
The field-proven R&S M3SR Series4400 VHF/UHF radios are equipped with the SATURN digital NATO EPM (ECCM) waveform and are interoperable with the analog HAVE QUICK algorithm. The radios transmit Link 11 tactical data and are prepared for Link 22. The Rohde & Schwarz radios use both fixed and hopping frequencies for voice transmission and support IP based data transfer with high throughput.
The purpose of the program is to equip French naval forces with a truly secure broadband network designed for the transmission of data with different classification levels (from unclassified to secret) between ships at sea and on-shore command centers.
The network transmits data from applications that coordinate carrier group operations and those dedicated to on-board logistics management. It is capable of combining several communications streams in order to optimize the use of transmission capacity. The network utilizes satellite connections as well as radio communications systems allowing all-IP transmission between ships, with a range of several dozen nautical miles.
RIFAN 2 also provides overall network management and cybersecurity incident monitoring capability. This monitoring can take place both from an on-shore management system in a control center as well as on board the ships, allowing crews to independently make decisions on how to best use the network based on the operational situation.