Thales has been awarded a contract for the supply of identification friend-or-foe (IFF) transponders for the modernisation of the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) A1M fighter and E-99 early warning and control system (AEW&C) aircraft.

Awarded by Embraer, the contract covers the supply of an unspecified number of TSC 2030 and TSC 2050 transponders for retrofit of a total of 48 FAB aircraft.

The new IFF systems-fitted aircraft will be fully interoperable to overcome risks of friendly fire, according to the company.

A part of Thales’ BlueGate range of IFF product line, the panel-mounted TSC 2030 and the remote 2050 transponders rely on the advanced technologies, and offer a digital identification capability in accordance with Nato’s MKXA standard.

"The contract covers the supply of an unspecified number of TSC 2030 and TS2050 transponders for retrofit of a total of 48 FAB aircraft."

Thales Communications & Security CEO Jean-Michel Lagarde said, "This IFF retrofit programme for the Brazilian Air Force shows that Thales’s BlueGate IFF solutions are an excellent fit for upgrading existing aircraft."

Designed to operate either in national secure cryptographic mode or in the secure identification modes ­ including four and five ­ in use with the Nato forces, both transponders address all the most recent standards and regulations defined by the Nato and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

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Embraer is modernising 43 subsonic A-1 fighters and five E-99 aircraft as part of two separate contracts awarded by FAB in January 2011 and January 2013, respectively.

An upgraded version of AMX International-built A-1 fighter, the A-1M aircraft is designed to conduct air-to-ground attack, bombing, tactical air support and reconnaissance missions.

Primarily operated by FAB for environmental protection and natural resources survey, the Embrarer E-99 aircraft is also used for border surveillance from the Annapolis air force base, as part of the Amazon Surveillance System programme.

The contract value and additional details, including delivery schedule, remain undisclosed.

Image: Thales will supply its TSC 2030 and TSC 2050 IFF systems for Brazilian Air Force’s military aircraft upgrades. Photo: courtesy of Thales Group.

Defence Technology