EADS Defence & Security (DS) will modernize the identification systems of the German Armed Forces and of NATO’s early warning aircraft in order to meet the latest air traffic control standards and to increase safety in air traffic.

Defence Electronics (DE), an integrated activity of DS, has been awarded a contract covering the modernisation of approximately 600 STR2000 transponder systems in order to comply with the new international Mode S standard.

The ‘transponders’ on board aircraft and helicopters emit flight data regarding the course, speed, etc. to ground stations or other aircraft thus enabling precise identification and flight control. This facilitates air traffic control and helps to avoid collisions. Pursuant to international regulations, all aerial vehicles of the German Armed Forces need to be equipped with this new technology by April 2009 at the latest. STR2000 ensures the identification of not only civil but also military aircraft.

In addition to the STR2000 emitters, DE also produces the ‘interrogators’ in the form of the Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR) 2000 I secondary radars, which are used as receivers on the ground or on board ships and form an air traffic control network together with the transponders.

“Air traffic, especially in Europe, has become so dense,” explained Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Defence Electronics, “that air traffic control can no longer manage without automatic identification systems. In this way, our transponders are making an important contribution to the safety of our citizens in everyday life.”