Asian Army Orders Israeli Tactical Data Link

Credit: Rafael

SINGAPORE—An undisclosed Asian army has ordered an advanced tactical data link system designed by Rafael and deployed for more than a decade by the Israel Defense Forces.

State-owned Rafael announced at the Singapore Airshow on Feb. 16 that a contract for the BNET software-defined radio had been signed three weeks earlier, on Jan. 29.

“This new contract reflects the international recognition of BNET’s advantages and Rafael’s position as a major supplier of advanced communication systems, which serve as vital enablers of the digital transformation revolution in advanced modern military organizations,” says Yoav Wermuth, head of Rafael’s command, control, communications and intelligence directorate.

The selection by the Asian customer came after an international competition for a tactical data link system.

The BNET radio provides a similar function as the NATO-standard Link 16 Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, but with significantly higher speed and bandwidth.

“The modular, multiband, multichannel, netcentric system enables unprecedented data rates and user numbers enabling all land, sea and air units to participate in a single, scalable network,” Rafael says in an announcement.

In 2020, Rafael officials said that the BNET system had been deployed by the Israeli Army at the battalion level. The data link also has been demonstrated on various aircraft, including Israeli unmanned aircraft systems and the Lockheed Martin F-35I operated by the Israeli Air Force. The system allows a distributed force to maintain a common view of the battlespace.

“BNET has the ability to cognitively manage the scarce spectrum resources, providing seamless force merge and minimal planning with efficient spectrum usage,” Rafael says.

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.