Rapidly Installed
Fuel Transfer
System (RIFTS)

Contact Information

Kevin Marafioto
Systems and Sensors
(210) 522-4932

Image: RIFTS can be used to distribute fuel and water on the 21st-century battlefield.

RIFTS can be used to distribute fuel and water on the 21st-century battlefield.

Products are developed by the Aerospace Engineering Department at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) at many different levels of complexity, from pieces that are part of a larger system with multiple contributors to entire systems, including system integration of all of the individual parts.

Rapidly Installed Fuel Transfer System (RIFTS)

A rapidly deployable and retrievable tactical bulk liquid transfer system known as Rapidly Installed Fuel Transfer System (RIFTS) was developed by U.S. Army RDECOM and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). RIFTS can be used to distribute fuel and water on the 21st-century battlefield.

RIFTS Subsystem Components

RIFTS consists of three main subsystems:

The system components are packaged, stored, and transported in PLS/LHS-compatible ISO containers. The system can deliver over 850k gallons of fluid per 24-hour day.

Command & Control Module

The Command and Control module provides:

  • A centralized point for fluid transfer operations
  • Real-time status and control of the Automated Pumping Stations
  • A display for the leak size and location reported by the automated leak detection system

Automated Pumping Station

The Automated Pumping Station is controlled in real-time by the Command and Control module and reports in real-time to the Command and Control module. It includes high-accuracy flow meters. All leak detection instrumentation is build into the Automated Pumping Station; no sensors are required on the conduit.

Emplacement/Removal Device

The Emplacement/Removal Device is used for the storage, deployment, and retrieval of RIFTS collapsible conduit. Collapsible conduit allows much faster deployment and retrieval than is allowed by the use of hard pipe. These self-contained devices are operated from a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck.

Improved Bulk Fluid Transfer Operations

RIFTS supports force projection by providing improvements in bulk fluid transfer operations. These improvements include:

  • A reduced logistical footprint
  • Faster installation rate (20 miles per day) using collapsible conduit
  • Reduced operational manpower
  • Automated command and control
  • Real-time status monitoring and reporting
  • Built-in leak detection and location system
  • Automated planning aid for conduit deployment
  • Improved situational awareness

Related Terminology

system engineering  •  aerospace engineering  •  system integration  •  RIFTS  •  fuel distribution  •  water distribution  •  emplacement/removal  •  automated pumping station  •  command and control module  •  bulk fluid transfer

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.