Leonardo has secured a contract worth more than €290m from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to deliver next-generation Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) technology.
Leonardo and HENSOLDT, working together as ‘Team Skytale’, will upgrade IFF systems on 350 operational aircraft, naval vessels and ground-based air defence systems operated by the UK military as part of the contract.
Under the contract, the British Army’s High Velocity Missile (HVM) multiple launcher system will be equipped with Mode-5 IFF, which employs advanced cryptographic techniques that allow land, sea and air units to quickly identify friendly forces and operate safely alongside Nato allies.
The IFF technology will also be installed on the UK Royal Air Force’s Sentry aircraft and the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Daring-class anti-air destroyers.
UK Defence Procurement Minister Harriett Baldwin said: “This £260m contract for battle-winning technology builds on decades of operational experience to keep UK pilots, soldiers and sailors safe on operations.
“It is yet another example of the jobs and skills-sustaining impact of the government’s £178bn equipment plan to supply the UK’s armed forces with the best possible kit.”
The Mode-5 IFF provides UK units with a clear and secure view of potential threats and targets, as well as protects against jamming and interference intended to reduce vital situational awareness.
The contract covers the installation of Mode-5 on equipment being used by the UK.
The IFF is also being fitted on vehicles currently under construction, including the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft and the new Apache AH64E Helicopters.
All Nato nations are mandated to switch to the new Mode-5 standard IFF by 2020, Leonardo stated.