German sensor manufacturer, Hensoldt and South Korean defence group Huneed Technologies have signed a cooperation agreement for the localization of Identification-Friend-or-Foe (IFF) Mode-5 equipment.
“We are committed to bring the latest-technology capabilities in IFF into the upcoming IFF performance improvement program of the South Korean armed forces which will improve the distinction between friendly and hostile forces and thus help to avoid friendly fire”, Hensoldt CEO Thomas Müller said. “I am proud that our companies have already succeeded in the localization of the first IFF transponder according to the needs of the Korean armed forces.”
Hensoldt and Huneed have recently finalized the localization of the IFF transponder LTR 400, i.e. Huneed has proven the capability to manufacture the transponders, which are adapted to the specific requirements of the South Korean Armed Forces, and takes charge of the integration.
The Korean Armed Forces performance improvement program aims at the upgrade of the IFF equipment of thousands of Korean aircraft, ships and air defence systems from the existing Mode-4 to the new Mode-5 standard. The upgrade is under way in all US and NATO allied nations until mid-2020. After this date, joint missions, e.g. together with US armed forces, are possible only for units with Mode-5-capable equipment.
IFF systems allow ships and aircraft to be identified precisely by automatically sending interrogation signals, which are answered by so-called transponders on board friendly units. Field commanders are thus able to quickly distinguish friendly from hostile forces. Unlike Mode 4 used hitherto, the future Mode 5 standard employs state-of-the-art encryption techniques to avoid hostile manipulation of the signal.
Hensoldt capitalizes on decades of experience in the IFF market. In June 2017, Hensoldt , together with Leonardo, was awarded a contract worth approximately 330 million euros to upgrade the IFF systems of 450 aircraft, ships and ground-based air defence systems of the British Armed Forces to the Mode 5 standard.
The company has delivered IFF systems for sea-based and ground-based applications to a total of 42 countries including the majority of 29 NATO nations and their allies.
Hensoldt’s IFF devices are in service on board all German Navy ships. In Germany, the company has established the air traffic control / IFF network of the German Air Force covering an airspace of 1,700 x 1,500 kilometres.
In total, Hensoldt has approximately 450 IFF systems under contract for more than 80 different platform types.
In the Republic of Korea, Hensoldt has equipped the identification system of the new multirole tanker aircraft with Mode 5-capable encryption devices and has already provided the Korean Air Force and Army’s Low Altitude Radars with its IFF Mode 5 Technology in cooperation with local Korean industries.