Cassidian has been awarded a contract to upgrade the German Armed Forces’ identification friend-or-foe (IFF) systems to NATO‘s new Mode 5 configuration.
Awarded by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), the contract covers conversion of the German military’s existing monopulse secondary surveillance radar 2000 I (MSSR 2000I) systems to the new Mode 5 standard in multiple steps.
Under the first step, the company will modernise MSSR 2000I systems installed onboard a German Army mobile system, German Navy’s vessels, as well as two ground stations used for military air traffic control (ATC) missions.
Additional steps will include upgrade of secondary radars in ground and ship systems, and conversion of the associated transponders installed onboard aircraft.
Working according to standardised question-and-answer procedures, the MSSR 2000I system quickly recognises incoming friendly aircraft and supports the commander in the decision whether or not to engage an aircraft, preventing accidental attacks on own forces.
Cassidian had supplied IFF equipment supporting Mode 5 standard to the German troops participating in the US Army’s Bold Quest 2013 exercise, which was held in US, in June 2013.
The equipment included MSSR 2000 I interrogators integrated in ground stations, Lightweight Transponder 400 (LTR400) deployed in a German Air Force’s C160 mission aircraft, as well as QRTK3/4NG cryptographic computers.
Apart from proving its interoperability with the Alliance partners’ Mode 4 and Mode 5 IFF systems, the equipment also demonstrated problem-free functioning of the next-generation Mode 5 IFF standard, which is scheduled to be introduced by all Nato forces from 2014.
Unlike the commonly used Mode 4 configuration, the Mode 5 employs advanced encryption techniques to avoid hostile signal manipulation, thereby ensuring that the identification process is absolutely reliable.
Image: an identification friend-or-foe ground station along with Germany’s C160 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Cassidian.