Leonardo and Hensoldt, formerly Airbus’ electronics and border security business, have agreed to partner to market the former’s Mode 5 identification friend-or-foe system to potential customers worldwide.
The U.K. defense ministry has selected the Leonardo-Hensoldt team, also known as Team Skytale, to update IFF systems on at least 400 aerial, maritime and ground vehicles, Leonardo said Tuesday.
The partnership comes after Leonardo secured a contract in February to supply Mode 5 IFF systems to Italian navy’s fleet of NH90 helicopters.
An IFF system works to help users distinguish friendly forces from potential adversaries through the transmission of an interrogation signal to unidentified systems and verification of responses from such systems.
The team will seek potential customers in Middle East, Europe and East Asia under the memorandum of understanding.
Leonardo has supplied Mode-5 IFF systems to the U.K. air force’s Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and the navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
NATO countries are required to adopt the Mode 5 version of the IFF system by 2020 in order to facilitate interoperability with other allied countries’ armed forces.
Leonardo and Hensoldt both have cryptographic devices that comply with the Defense Department’s AIMS 04-900(A) Option B control standard for IFF systems.