Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands sign up for new M-class IFF systems

Illustration: Dutch Navy photo of M-class (M for multipurpose) frigate HNLMS Van Speijk

The navies of Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands have signed a contract with Thales for the delivery of new Mode 5 and Mode S identification friend or foe (IFF) systems for their Karel Doorman-class frigates.

The upgrade to the latest NATO IFF standard will enable the vessels to perform military missions with increased dependability and integrity (Mode 5), and better identify civil aircraft (Mode S).

The upgrade will also include the civil Mode S to generate a comprehensive recognized air and surface picture.

According to Thales, the platforms will be fully operational from 2020.

In addition to the supply of identification systems, the contract includes the adjustment of the current LW08 radar systems and the delivery of a user interface for stand-alone control.

The Netherlands sold two of its eight M-class frigates to Belgium and another two to Portugal. As a result, Belgian and Portuguese requirements were taken into consideration as well as the requirements of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The contract includes an option for three more new generation identification systems for the Vasco Da Gama frigates of the Portuguese Navy.

“We leverage the latest technologies to provide naval forces around the world with the means to better identify air targets and enhance tactical preparedness so they can make the right decisions at the right time. The new generation identification systems will include an advanced user interface to support stand-alone control,” said Gerben Edelijn, CEO, Thales in the Netherlands.

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