Roll-On Beyond-Line-of-Sight Enhancement (ROBE)

The ROBE system dramatically increases the reach of tactical communications for global connectivity.

Roll this rapidly installable and transportable tactical data link (TDL) node onto a tanker aircraft. Instantly, the tanker is a communications center, able to relay command decision-making information anywhere in the world.

Using an existing operational asset, the tanker can provide this powerful relay capability economically. Developed by Northrop Grumman in 2003, ROBE is a certified communications system that provides a seamless and secure distribution of information to the warfighters, local commanders and higher headquarters.

ROBE Benefits

  • Extends communications range
  • Uses existing airborne assets and missions as a force multiplier
  • Assured and protected access for warfighters
  • Authorized to Operate (ATO)

ROBE Capabilities

ROBE is the premier mid-altitude, in-theater gateway providing significantly increased situational awareness, resulting in reduced kill chain and increased targets.

As installed with the associated systems aboard the tanker, ROBE provides the capability to distribute command and control data flow and situational awareness information in near real time using FalconView and Northrop Grumman’s Gateway Manager system. ROBE provides situational awareness, retasking and retargeting information directly to the tactical displays of warfighters equipped with a tactical data link. ROBE delivers information for any or all of three requirements:

  • Inter-zone connectivity between Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) TDL networks
  • Intra-theater reach-forward and reach-back
  • Connectivity to geographically remote relay

ROBE provides airborne BLOS and Line-of-Sight (LOS) Link 16 Relay as well as the Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL) relay and gateway. Forty aircraft have been modified to host 20 roll-on communications suites on the KC-135, the ROBE host platform.

ROBE Features

  • Link 16, SADL, JREAP, and BLOS UHF communications
  • A-Kits installed in KC-135 tankers
  • Roll-on, roll-off B-Kits mounted in transit cases for flexibility