Cassidian will upgrade the German Armed Forces' identification systems to NATO's new Mode 5 IFF standard. Germany is taking the pioneering role in the modernisation of all NATO identification systems, whose task is to differentiate between friendly and enemy aircraft and thus to reduce the risk of friendly fire. The modernisation of all of NATO's IFF systems is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
The German procurement authority, the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), has awarded Cassidian an order to convert the existing Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR) 2000 I secondary radar systems to the new Mode 5 standard. In a first step, the following equipment will be modernised: one type each of the German Navy's vessels, a German Army mobile system and two ground stations used for military air traffic control. In further stages, all secondary radars in ground and ship systems will be modernised and the associated transponders on board aircraft will be converted.
In military IFF, the MSSR 2000 I works according to standardised question-and-answer procedures to quickly recognise friendly incoming aircraft and to support the commander in the decision whether to engage an aircraft or not. Unlike Mode 4 used hitherto, Mode 5 employs sophisticated encryption techniques to avoid hostile signal manipulation, thus ensuring that the identification process is absolutely reliable.
During the US Army's Bold Quest 2013 exercise, Cassidian provided the participating German troops with IFF equipment supporting Mode 5 for the entire action chain: MSSR 2000 I interrogators integrated in ground stations, LTR400 transponders deployed in a German Air Force C160 Transall mission aircraft and state-of-the-art QRTK3/4NG cryptographic computers. This equipment proved its interoperability with the Alliance partners' Mode 4 and Mode 5 IFF systems and demonstrated the problem-free functioning of the next-generation Mode 5 IFF standard, which is to be introduced by NATO forces from 2014.
Cassidian has already delivered IFF systems to several NATO nations, for ground and naval applications. Amongst others, the MSSR 2000 I protects all German Navy ships as well as UK Royal Navy ships and the French Navy's Mistral class command ships. In Germany, Cassidian has established the air traffic control network of the German Air Force covering an airspace of 1,700 x 1,500 km. In total, Cassidian has more than 370 systems for approximately 30 nations under contract.