Information is as crucial in modern warfare as bullets and aircraft.
It must be accurate, timely and detailed, delivered to where it's
needed, and not be subject to eavesdropping or tampering.
Traditionally, military communications relied on point-to-point, voice-based connections. These are wasteful of bandwidth and the human resources required to operate them, and make dissemination of information more difficult. They do not fit well with the needs of modern militaries or data communications systems.
Hence the embracing of `network-centric warfare', and the acquisition of standard network technologies. However, budgets are tight, and interoperability with allies often trumps raw technical requirements. We present an experimental ad hoc network protocol for enabling naval vessels to communicate with the Internet Protocol, using only existing physical layer communication assets, a PC, and some sticky-back plastic.