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European armies and air forces are evaluating the use of the Rafael BNET, with the Israeli company now in negotiations with some European companies to adapt the system to clients in the region. The BNET system replaces existing radio systems installed in aircraft and while half in size and weight, reportedly offers a very wide communications channel for data, operating on all frequencies simultaneously, creating a free flow of communications, speech and data of an unlimited number of users.

A contract for the BNET to be used by the German Army has been signed, with international company ATOS as the main contractor. According to Yoav Wermuth of Rafael’s C3I directorate, the BNET will be the basis for a system that will allow German infantry soldiers, aerial platforms and other systems to operate in parallel, all using the same communication systems. One demo has already been performed and another will be held this year. According Wermuth, by simultaneously receiving and processing hundreds of MHz‘s and merging them into a single IP network, BNET provides unprecedented network capacity in terms of data rates, number of users and minimal delay. The Rafael official told ESD that similar programmes are being developed in Spain and the UK, with BNET on offer.

Aerial applications

According to Rafael, the BNET communications systems have been selected by the air forces of Brazil and Colombia while recently, the Indian Air Force begun to integrate the Rafael BNET software defined radio onto all its combat aircraft, with the Israeli company supplying 1000 systems. RAFAEL has transferred considerable elements of the system development and production to India, enabling local partners to share a major part of the programme in the current phase and also benefit from its future spinoffs.

The senior Rafael official, added that the BNET allows the aircraft to achieve a fully networked communication system between airborne platforms and ground a naval forces. The system is seamless and it allows the transfer of data including video images in unprecedented rates. RAFAEL began the development of BNET as a ground based network, and later adapted the system for airborne and air-ground applications with it now being the main communication system of the Israeli Air Force existing and future platforms.