German Forces Aircraft Now Equipped With Transponders


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German Forces Aircraft Now Equipped With Transponders

By Steve Hall

September 24, 2011 - Cassidian, the defense and security division of EADS, has successfully concluded the modernization of the identification equipment of all German Forces' aircraft.

With the final deliveries in a multi-year modernization program, Cassidian has handed over the last tranche of its STR 2000 transponders to the German Procurement Authority BWB.  

In total, more than 650 transponders were delivered since 2002. The new equipment ensures the safe operation of aircraft in civilian airspace according to new requirements of the European air traffic control authority EuroControl. 

Transponders are a crucial element to ensure flight safety. As part of air traffic control, interrogators on the ground emit signals to request flight data from individual aircraft, e.g. on their origin, course or speed.

These requests are then automatically answered by transponders located on board the approaching aircraft, so that the position of each individual aircraft can always be reliably tracked. Military aircraft also respond to these non-military requests. In the so-called Identification-Friend-or-Foe (IFF) process, they even transmit additional data in an encrypted mode, allowing all aircraft to be unmistakably identified, e.g. during military operations.

Thereby, inadvertent friendly attacks can be prevented. For this reason, military aircraft require transponders with both civil and military functions. Cassidian has wide experience in the field of military and civil air traffic control and identification.  

The company has supplied numerous military identification systems for air, naval and ground vehicles to a number of armed forces, e.g. in Germany, France, Finland and Australia. For civil air traffic control, Cassidian?s identification systems are used in countries such as Austria and the Philippines.  

Cassidian is the defense and security subsidiary of the EADS group and a major provider of global security solutions, lead system integration and aerial, land, naval and joint systems. It is the second largest division of EADS. Until 17 September 2010 it was known as EADS Defense & Security. In 2009, Cassidian employed approximately 28,000 employees worldwide and achieved combined revenues of ?5.4 billion.


Cassidian's headquarter is located in Unterschleissheim, Germany and has several offices located across Europe, USA, India, Mexico and the Middle East. The new name Cassidian was adopted because according to its CEO Dr. Stefan Zoller the defence and security division needed a strong branding to focus on changing customer and business needs.  

The move is also a part of EADS' efforts to strengthen the brand identity of its divisions as EADS celebrated ten years of success since its creation in 2000. Cassidian supposedly comes from the Latin terms cassida (helmet) and meridian (imaginary line running north and south). According to the firm's communications head, it symbolises worldwide protection and security, thus reflecting the Cassidian claim Defending World Security. 


Cassidian focuses on global security and systems, lead system integration, platforms and value added products and services to civilian and military customers around the world. Its portfolio includes land, naval and joint systems, air systems (aircraft and unmanned aerial systems), intelligence and surveillance, secure communications, cyber security as well as test systems, missiles, services and support solutions. Cassidian's slogan is Defending World Security and its mission is to support the people whose mission is to protect the world.

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