Systems & products

RIFAN equips French naval forces with a truly secure high-data-rate network designed for the transmission of data with different classification levels between ships and shore to air.

On December 22, 2008, the procurement office of the French Ministry of Defense (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement - DGA), appointed Airbus Defence & Security (then EADS Defence & Security) as the prime contractor, with Naval Group (then DCNS) and Rohde & Schwarz as the subcontractors, to implement stage 2 of RIFAN (Réseau IP de la force aéronavale - IP network of the French naval air force) program. The object of the contract was to set up a high-performance intranet for use during training exercises and missions on the ships, submarines and aircraft of the French naval air and surface forces.

The basic agreement had a total value of approx. €200 million and a term of five years, providing the development and implementation of an IP-capable communications system for up to 116 ships and 64 aircraft, plus its maintenance.

As part of the second RIFAN stage, an IP backbone was implemented that integrates seamlessly with the French Navy’s information and combat management system. This network enables high data throughput between applications on the individual ships and aircraft, as well as integration of mobile general staff information systems. It covers all levels of classification from unclassified to French and NATO classified.

Rohde & Schwarz is maintaining the French Navy's existing radio communications architecture.
Rohde & Schwarz is maintaining the French Navy's existing radio communications architecture.

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 2.1 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.

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