Germany upgrades military airfield radar

German military airfields are to be equipped with advanced airfield control radar that automatically identifies individual aircraft.

EADS Defence & Security will provide the systems under an order worth approximately €250m from the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB).

Defence Electronics (DE), an integrated business unit of EADS DS, is to deliver 22 radar systems of the type ASR-S and identification systems in line with the latest standards of air traffic control by 2015.

The systems will replace the 30-year-old radars which have been used until now in military air traffic control. They will be used for approach control at the airfield itself and for airspace surveillance within a large radius to safely coordinate, among other things, military flight movements with civil air traffic.

"Air traffic, especially in Europe, has become so dense," explained Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Defence Electronics, "that air traffic control can no longer manage without the most modern radar and automatic identification systems."

"With the ASR, we have the most powerful airport control radar in the world. It has provided proof of its qualities in an extensive test phase," said Dr. Elmar Compans, head of DE's Sensors & Product Support Line of Business. "In particular, the sophisticated signal processing guarantees reliable and exact target tracking even under difficult environmental conditions."

The ASR consists of a primary radar on the basis of a semiconductor transmitter and state-of-the-art signal processing technology for long-range surveillance of the surroundings of the military airfields and a secondary radar for automatic identification of individual aircraft. This secondary radar (MSSR) meets the latest air traffic control standard 'Mode S', which greatly improves aircraft identification queries and is due to be introduced in Central European airspace by 2009. By recording and tracking flight movements precisely, it provides a complete picture of air traffic and helps to avoid traffic hold-ups or collisions.

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