The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) subsystem has received full certification for operation by the United States Department of Defense International AIMS (Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System, Identification Friend or Foe, Mark XII/Mark XIIA, Systems) Program Office. The system is designed to ensure the safety of allied aircrews engaged in combat operations.
Mode 5 is the most secure IFF mode and provides positive identification of friendly platforms equipped with an IFF transponder. This helps to discriminate between friend and foe. Full certification by the DoD International AIMS Program Office is a milestone accomplishment for the MEADS program.
“Achieving full certification for this equipment, at this phase of development, MEADS has more ability to identify and protect friendly aircraft than any other air and missile defense system,” said NATO MEADS Management Agency (NAMEADSMA) General Manager Gregory Kee. “The certification confirms that MEADS’ radars provide maximum protection for allied pilots in combat environments.”
The certified 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 development priorities included responding to issues that arose during the conflict in Iraq, and we have taken the issue of fratricide very seriously,” said MEADS International President Dave Berganini. “That is why we have raised the bar on protection for allied aircrews. MEADS also provides complete 360-degree defense and eight times the coverage against next-generation threats.”
MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Florida, 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. Selex Sistemi Integrati of Italy provides the MEADS IFF suite.
The MEADS program management agency, NAMEADSMA, is located in Huntsville, Ala.