UK awards IFF upgrade contract
Leonardo has received a contract worth over $323 million from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the upgrade of Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems, the company announced on 22 June.
Under the contract, Leonardo will work together with Germany-based Hensoldt as Team Skytale to upgrade the IFF technology on more than 350 of the UK’s operational aircraft, naval vessels and ground-based air defence systems to the latest Mode-5 standard.
The contract covers 11 aircraft types, 18 naval vessel types and two land-based platform types. The team will also establish a Mode-5 IFF support hub in the UK.
By 2020, all NATO nations are required to switch to the new Mode-5 standard IFF, which uses advanced cryptographic techniques to secure the systems against electronic deception by adversaries. This is significant when forces are operating together since it ensures that ground, air and naval crews can recognise their allies, as one of the main ways of avoiding so-called ‘friendly fire’ incidents.
Leonardo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hensoldt to provide IFF upgrade solutions globally. Under the agreement, both companies will submit their combined IFF product portfolios to provide a flexible approach that can be tailored to the needs of different international customers.
To upgrade UK’s defence solution, the team will provide Leonardo’s M428 Transponder and SIT 2010 cryptographic computer and Hensoldt’s MSSR 2000 I and MSR 1000 I Interrogator.
Previously, Leonardo has delivered Mode 5 IFF for the UK Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoons and the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
The company also provides Mode 5 IFF technology for the new Saab Gripen-E fighter and has recently demonstrated innovative reverse-IFF (air-to-ground) capabilities on Italian Typhoon aircraft.
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