13 Nov 2018

Leonardo partners with South Korean contractor for IFF bid

The Republic of Korea-based defence specialist LIG Nex1 has appointed Leonardo as strategic technology partner. Together, the two organisations will bid for the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Agency’s (DAPA) prized IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) upgrade.

The sought after contract will see IFF technology on board South Korean aircraft updated to the very latest ‘Mode 5’ standard. IFF is essential to all maneuvers as it enables units to distinguish between friendlies and hostile combatants. Crucially, Mode 5 employs advanced cryptographic techniques, which are able to safeguard the system from jamming or enemy interference.

Already, Leonardo has begun work on a similar programme of upgrades in the UK. More than 350 operational aircraft, naval vessels and land-based air defence systems are being upgraded to the Mode 5 standard as part of the contract. This experience will prove instrumental to the bid, and Leonardo has pledged to localise the production of key components in-country.

Previously, Leonardo agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a leading Korean defence contractor to jointly manufacture avionics and mission systems – initially in relation to targeting systems – to the Republic of Korea (RoK) and further afield.

Leonardo has also taken part in an Electronic Warfare Operational Support knowledge transfer programme for members of the RoK Navy, Air Force and the Agency for Defense Development. The programme was designed to ensure the South Korean armed forces are prepared to meet today’s electronics-driven battlespace head-on.

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