Hensoldt and Leonardo sign MOU for Mode-5 IFF solutions

ROME. Hensoldt and Leonardo officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to offer Mode-5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) solutions to customers. Leonardo and Hensoldt - formerly known as Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security - will work together as "Team Skytale."

IFF technology allows operators to electronically identify friendly forces, distinguishing them from potential enemies. It does this by sending out an interrogation signal to unidentified platforms and verifying the automatic responses that are sent back, effectively a modern-day challenge and password system. Ensuring that ground, air, and naval crews can reliably recognize if its a friend or foe.

In 2020, all NATO nations are mandated to switch over to the new, more-secure ‘Mode-5’ version of the technology and other nations looking to operate alongside NATO forces will also need to be able to interact with the new standard. Mode-5 uses the cryptographic techniques to avoid the threat of deception by adversaries.

In the UK, has previously delivered Mode-5 IFF for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoons, while in Italy Leonardo is providing Mode-5 IFF for the NH90 helicopter. Internationally, the company provides Mode-5 IFF technology for the Saab Gripen-E fighter and other worldwide Armed Forces.

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