Bulgarian Armed Forces’ IFF modernisation programme will receive Identification-Friend-or-Foe (IFF) technology from German sensor specialist Hensoldt.

The sensor specialist won a multimillion-Euro contract from NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) for the delivery of MSSR 2000 ID secondary radars, cryptographic and test equipment, as well as associated services.

According to the company, the IFF systems will help the Bulgarian Armed Forces modernise equipment at several airspace surveillance sites to the new NATO ‘Mode 5’ standard.

This Mode 5 standard feature is crucial when forces jointly operate to avoid any unintended firing of friendly forces.

As a precondition of US/Nato and allied partner nations’ joint operations, the Mode 5 standard is being launched by all western armies.

Also known as secondary surveillance radars (SSR), IFF systems are based on automated electronic signals, and according to Hensoldt, these play a crucial role in all military operations.

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By responding to interrogation signals with the right signal, IFF systems can detect ‘friendly units’ such as aircraft or ships right at the initial stage.

The IFF enables field commanders to swiftly distinguish between friendly and hostile forces.

Hensoldt has so far been given contracts to upgrade the IFF systems of the UK, German and French armed forces to the Mode 5 level.

The company claimed that its equipment is deployed on all German Navy ships and several British Royal Navy ships.

A total of 400 Hensoldt IFF systems are currently under contract from 42 nations.

In July, Hensoldt won an order worth several million Euros to modernise the German Air Force IFF systems.