HENSOLDT delivers air defence IFF interrogator to French Armed Forces

Paris, 16 April 2019HENSOLDT, the leading independent sensor solutions house, will deliver its IFF interrogator (IFF = Identification-friend-or-foe) for very short range and short range air defence applications to the French Ministry for the Armed Forces.

The contract awarded to Hensoldt France SAS covers the delivery of 134 MSR1000I (monopulse secondary radar) destined for integration on the French Army’s MISTRAL missile launchers and MARTHA air defence command and control stations.

The MSR1000I IFF interrogator has been successfully qualified by the French Defence Procurement Agency DGA in December 2018 and will perform NATO IFF interrogation together with the mini crypto-computer QRTK6NG, also manufactured by Hensoldt France. Following this, the first tranche has been notified and 41 MSR1000I compliant with the STANAG 4193 Edition 3 will be delivered in 2020.

The French very short range and short range air defence platforms will then be able to perform mode 4 and mode 5 interrogations. IFF systems precisely identify ships and aircraft by automatically sending interrogation signals which are answered by so-called transponders on-board friendly aircraft or ships. Thus, IFF enables field commanders to quickly distinguish friendly from hostile forces. Unlike Mode 4 used hitherto, Mode 5 employs sophisticated encryption techniques to avoid hostile signal manipulation, thus ensuring that the identification process is absolutely reliable and secure. With the decommissioning of Mode 4, “Mode 5” needs to be introduced in all western armies, then being a precondition of joint operations of NATO and allied forces.

HENSOLDT supplies customers all over the world with IFF equipment. Based on the experience of predecessor companies like Matra, Airbus and Siemens, the company is under contract to upgrade German, French, UK, US and other armed forces’ platforms with IFF systems using the latest ‘Mode 5’ standard. It has already delivered IFF systems – including crypto devices – to ground and naval platforms of 42 NATO and NATO-allied nations. In France, the company’s equipment is deployed on the “Charles de Gaulle” aircraft carrier, the Rafale and Mirage 2000 combat aircraft, the NH90 helicopters and several air defence platforms. In Germany, the company has established the air traffic control/IFF network of the German Air Force and delivers interrogators and transponders to a number of airborne and naval platforms. In total, HENSOLDT has about 450 IFF systems under contract for more than 80 platform types.

Photo courtesy Hensoldt