HENSOLDT delivers latest IFF technology to Bulgarian Forces

Upgrade to new ‘Mode 5’ NATO standard helps to avoid friendly fire

HENSOLDT’s Mode 5 IFF equipment helps to avoid friendly fire incidents. Graphics: HENSOLDT

Taufkirchen/Germany, November 19th, 2021 – Sensor solutions specialist HENSOLDT will bring its latest-technology capabilities in Identification-Friend-or-Foe (IFF) into the upcoming IFF modernization programme of the Bulgarian armed forces. HENSOLDT was awarded by NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency), a multimillion Euro contract to deliver a number of MSSR 2000 ID secondary radars as well as cryptographic and test equipment and related services. The IFF systems will upgrade the equipment of several airspace surveillance sites of the Bulgarian armed forces to the new NATO “Mode 5” standard which will improve the distinction between friendly and hostile forces and thus help to avoid friendly fire.

IFF systems, so-called secondary surveillance radars (SSR), precisely identify aircraft by automatically sending interrogation signals which are answered by so-called transponders on-board friendly aircraft. Thus, IFF enables field commanders to quickly distinguish friendly from hostile forces. 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 and secure. “Mode 5” is in the process of being introduced in all western armies as a precondition of joint operations of US/NATO and allied forces.

HENSOLDT is an expert in Mode 5 IFF. It is under contract to upgrade German, French and UK armed forces’ IFF systems to the “Mode 5” standard and has delivered IFF systems – including crypto devices - for ground and naval applications of several NATO nations. Among others, the company’s equipment is deployed on all German Navy ships as well as several UK Royal 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 kilometers. In total, HENSOLDT has more than 400 IFF systems under contract in 42 nations.



HENSOLDT is a German champion in the defence industry with a leading market position in Europe and global reach. The company, headquartered in Taufkirchen near Munich, develops sensor solutions for defence and security applications. As a technology leader, HENSOLDT is also continuously expanding its portfolio in cyber and developing new products to combat a wide range of threats based on innovative approaches to data management, robotics and cybersecurity. With more than 5,600 employees, HENSOLDT generated revenues of EUR 1.2 billion in 2020. HENSOLDT is listed on SDAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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