Hensoldt has been awarded an order worth several million euros to modernise the German Air Force identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) systems.

The order has been awarded by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw).

Under the contract, the company will deliver secondary radar systems and individual components.

These will help the German Air Force convert its identification systems to the secure new ‘Mode 5’ standard.

Currently, all Nato countries are required to switch their IFF systems to the latest standard.

IFF systems are based on automated electronic signals and play a crucial role in all military operations.

By responding to interrogation signals with the right signal, these systems make sure that ‘friendly units’ such as aircraft or ships are detected during an early stage.

This feature is most important when forces are jointly operating to avoid unintended firing of friendly forces.

According to the company, the Mode 5 standard uses advanced cryptographic techniques to secure against ‘electronic jamming’ by adversaries.

Hensoldt claims that it is one of the few European suppliers to dispatch both certified latest technology IFF devices and the corresponding encryption computers.

Currently, more than a thousand IFF devices are in operation with Nato and partner nations. These devices include the MSSR 2000 I secondary radar and the LTR-400 transponder.

The sensor specialist also offers integration, testing and support services in the certification of IFF equipment according to American IFF authority AIMS specifications.

In May last year, Hensoldt was set to modernise the German Air Force’s 90 Tornado fighter aircraft with its Mode 5-capable LTR 400 transponder.