MEADS System to Identify Friend Or Foe Aircraft Certified by U.S. Air Traffic Control Office
First Non-U.S. Cryptographic System Cleared For U.S. Use
ORLANDO, September 3, 2013 – The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system has been certified for operation. MEADS became the first U.S. system approved to incorporate a non-U.S. cryptographic device in 2009.
Certification by the U.S. Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System Identification Friend or Foe Mark XII/XIIA System (AIMS) Program Office is a significant accomplishment for the MEADS program. Mode 5 is more secure and provides positive line-of-sight identification of friendly platforms equipped with an IFF transponder to better differentiate between friend and foe.
“No other air and missile defense system has more ability to identify friendly aircraft,” said NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) General Manager Gregory Kee. “This AIMS certification confirms that both MEADS radars provide the highest level of protection to allied pilots in coalition combat.”
The approved IFF system is used in both MEADS 360-degree radar configurations. The Surveillance Radar is a 360-degree, active electronically steered array radar that provides extended range coverage. The Multifunction Fire Control Radar is a 360-degree X-band, solid-state, phased array radar that provides precision tracking and wideband discrimination and classification capabilities. Both radars provide threat detection capability against highly maneuverable low-signature threats, including short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and other air-breathing threats.
“MEADS offers coverage and flexibility that other systems cannot provide, including complete 360-degree defense that protects military sites and civilians against next-generation threats,” said MEADS International President Dave Berganini. “Its advanced solid-state architecture is more reliable than fielded systems, yet with fewer end items, MEADS can provide eight times the coverage. Reduced personnel and maintenance requirements save billions of dollars in operating costs.”
MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Major subcontractors and joint venture partners are MBDA in Italy and Germany, and Lockheed Martin in the United States.
The MEADS program management agency NAMEADSMA is located in Huntsville, Ala.