Rome, 21 February 2017. Leonardo has been awarded a contract worth €11M by the NATO agency NAHEMA, on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Defence (Direzione degli Armamenti Aeronautici e perl’Aeronavigabilità – DAAA), to provide its New Generation Identification Friend or Foe (NGIFF) interrogator, called the SIT434/5, for the Italian Navy NH90 NFHs (Nato Frigate Helicopters).

The SIT434/5 has been integrated on the NH90 NFH by Leonardo, and qualification tests on the Italian Navy NH90 have been completed successfully. The Italian MoD will be first to gain Mode 5 IFF capability for their NH90 helicopters.

IFF allows operators to identify friendly forces and distinguish them from potential threats. It does this by transmitting a ‘challenge’ signal to unidentified aircraft and verifying the automatic responses received, effectively a modern-day call-and-response password system. The SIT434/5 interrogator,which was developed under the multinational New-Generation IFF (NGIFF) programme, is the part of an IFF system that sends out the ‘challenge’ signal. In addition to its provision for Italian Forces,

Leonardo has sold the interrogator to a number of export customers.NATO members will need to have Mode 5-compatible equipment, which provides better encryption security and other advantages over older systems, installed by 2020 when the old Mode 4 signal is scheduled to be turned off. This means that the SIT434/5 will allow Italy’s NH90 NFH to continue to operate jointly with NATO allies post-2020. Leonardo also provides a range of other systems for Italy’s NH90 TTH and NH90 NFH helicopters, including a complete Communications, Navigation and Identification (CNI) capability, radar and mission systems.