AIMS Certification for HENSOLDT Identification Systems

A prerequisite for the future delivery of IFF equipment to NATO

Taufkirchen/Germany, 17 October 2017 – HENSOLDT, the leading independent sensor house, has successfully passed certification of their MSSR 2000 I system (MSSR = Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar) by the AIMS Program Office of the US Department of Defense. This means that HENSOLDT is the only company outside of the USA to fulfil this critical prerequisite for delivering IFF devices (IFF = Identification Friend or Foe) for the upcoming conversion of all NATO identification systems to the future “Mode 5” standard.  

The current certification confirms that the MSSR 2000 I is both interoperable and reliable when used to identify one’s own or allied forces in accordance with the future NATO standard Mode 5 and all previous modes (1, 2, 3/A, C, 4, S). The International AIMS Program Office of the US Department of Defense is the only organisation worldwide that certifies the interoperability and technical performance of radar and IFF systems.

IFF systems allow ships and aircraft to be identified precisely by automatically sending interrogation signals, which are answered by so-called transponders on board friendly units. Field commanders are thus able to quickly distinguish friendly from hostile forces. Unlike Mode 4 used hitherto, the future Mode 5 standard employs state-of-the-art encryption techniques to avoid hostile manipulation of the signal and to thus prevent the enemy from tampering with the identification process.  

By 2020, all NATO states and their partner nations will need to have switched to the new, secure Mode 5 technology version. Moreover, the countries cooperating with NATO troops will also have to guarantee compatibility with the new standard.  

HENSOLDT has many references for IFF systems. In June 2017, HENSOLDT, together with Leonardo, was awarded a contract worth approximately 230 million euros to upgrade the IFF systems of 450 aircraft, ships and ground-based air defence systems of the British Armed Forces to the Mode 5 standard. The company has delivered IFF systems for sea-based and ground-based applications to a total of 42 NATO countries and their allies. HENSOLDT’s IFF devices are in service on board all German 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 kilometres. In total, HENSOLDT has approximately 450 IFF systems under contract for more than 80 different platform types.        


HENSOLDT is an independent, globally leading supplier of premium sensors for security and surveillance missions. The company is active throughout the world in such areas as missile warning systems and submarine periscopes. Moreover, HENSOLDT is very active in the market for radar systems, optronics and electronic protection systems. The company comprises the security and defence electronics activities of the Airbus Group, which were spun off from the group in 2017 and have now entered the market as a new sensor house under the brand name of HENSOLDT. HENSOLDT employs approximately 4,000 employees, generating annual revenues of about €1 billion. 


Press contact

Lothar Belz
+49 (0)731.392.3681
lothar.belz @airbus .com