Finmeccanica, through its Airborne and Space Systems division, has signed contracts to provide Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF) systems for the Gripen Next Generation (Gripen NG) aircraft earmarked for the Air Forces of Sweden and Brazil. The IFF systems will be used by Gripen pilots to identify other aircraft or vehicles as friendly (or potentially unfriendly) and to determine their bearing and range from the aircraft. Independent from the Gripen NG’s radar and other sensors, the IFF system can look in a different direction, allowing the pilot to use the radar to queue-up targets for subsequent identification. Of particular note, the IFF system’s separate antennas give it a wide, more-than 180 degree field of regard, providing operational benefits.
Each complete IFF system consists of a transponder and an interrogator. Also included is a crypto customised in accordance with customer requirements. The transponder, which is the company’s Mode 5 M428 model, is the same being offered to the UK MoD to address NATO's requirement for a new standard of IFF across all platforms. In addition to the IFF system, Finmeccanica provides the Gripen NG’s two other main sensors, the Raven ES05 AESA (E-Scan) radar and the Skyward-G IRST (Infrared Search & Track) passive sensor. The contracting arrangements for the IFF systems will see Finmeccanica provide support packages that sustain the IFF in an integrated fashion with these other two sensors.
In addition to the IFF, radar and IRST, which are under contract, Finmeccanica’s new BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) has been chosen by Saab as an electronic warfare option for the Gripen NG.
Trials on a Gripen aircraft in April 2015 confirmed the safe and effective release of the BriteCloud EAD and its compatibility with the Gripen’s electronic warfare countermeasures.