Wideband Battlefield Network Field-Tested with B-1

A B-1 bomber operating with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron in Southwest Asia recently completed a test of the Remotely Operated Video Enhancement Receiver, or ROVER, Internet Protocol Network. “RIPN is the first wideband battlefield network between an airborne platform and forces on the ground—specifically the joint terminal attack controller,” said Col. Charles Menza, the Pentagon’s battlefield integration director, in an Oct. 22 release from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. During the Sept. 24 demonstration, testers were able to form a network through the Sniper targeting pod on the B-1 and several ROVER units on the ground, allowing the ROVERs to pass digital close-air-support targeting coordinates and other information to the B-1 crew, states the release. “The test was a big success,” said Menza. “We are all eager to bring back the lessons we learned from these flights so the JTACs, who are closest to the fight, can have the best information possible to engage targets quickly and accurately,” he said. (379th AEW report by SrA. Bahja Jones)