The advanced Mode 5 identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system of the Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS) has successfully completed certification testing at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base in Rome, Italy.
Conducted in collaboration with the US Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System, the certification trials involved 160 IFF system tests.
The Italian National Security Agency (NSA) also conducted additional trialling of the system following its integration into MEADS X-band multifunction fire control radar (MFCR).
MEADS International technical director Marco Riccetti said the subsystem was selected for incorporation into both MEADS radars in an effort to offer a robust IFF system.
"They provide the highest level of fratricide prevention available to protect allied pilots," Riccetti added.
Equipped with SELEX Sistemi Integrati-built cryptographic computer, the IFF system is designed for integration into both MEADS 360° rotating radar configurations to help enhance its operational capabilities.
The MFCR successfully completed integration testing with MEADS battle manager and launcher at the same location in August.
Nato MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) general manager Gregory Kee said: "The MEADS system offers coverage and flexibility that other systems cannot provide, including complete 360° defence that protects military sites and civilians against next-generation threats."
Designed by MBDA Italia, the MEADS is a ground-mobile air and missile defence system developed to protect troops and critical assets against threats, such as tactical ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the battlefield.
MEADS is primarily intended to replace the ageing Patriot missile systems in the US and Germany, as well as the Nike Hercules system in Italy. It is managed by MEADS International, which is a joint project between German LFK, MBDA Italia and Lockheed Martin.
Image: The MEADS IFF system during certification testing at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base in Italy. Photo: copyright Lockheed Martin Corporation©.