A consortium of Airbus, Naval Group and Rohde & Schwarz has received a contract to deliver secure data network for French Navy vessels.

The contract awarded by the French defence procurement agency DGA is valid for a term of eight years and is valued at up to €150m.

Under the contract, the Airbus-led consortium will maintain and adapt the existing IP network for the French Naval Forces, known as RIFAN 2, for future needs. Currently, a total of 63 naval ships are equipped with the network.

The RIFAN 2.1 contract also includes the integration of new ships, as well as the upgrade of outdated hardware and software.

The consortium will integrate the future frontline frigates of the FDI programme and the future replenishment tankers of the BRF programme into the RIFAN 2 network.

“The network adaptations under the contract will involve both central architecture and upgrading the cybersecurity incident monitoring and detection system.”

According to Airbus, the network adaptations under the contract will involve both central architecture and upgrading the cybersecurity incident monitoring and detection system.

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The programme aims to equip the French Naval with a secure broadband network to facilitate exchanges of data between ships at sea and on-shore command centres.

For example, the RIFAN 2 network sends data related to the coordination of carrier group operations.

To enable communication between ships, the system uses satellite connections and radio communication systems.

RIFAN 2’s cybersecurity incident monitoring capabilities can take place both from a remote on-shore facility and on the ships.