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The Bundeswehr procurement office BAAINBw has commissioned the sensor solution provider Hensoldt to develop sensor equipment for communication reconnaissance (Signals Intelligence, SIGINT) for the Eurodrone, which can be attached to the aircraft in an external container (pod). The order is worth around 15 million euros, the company said.

The sensors for reconnaissance of radio and radar signals are based on a combination of the latest digitization technologies, electronic beam control and metallic 3D printing, some of which Hensoldt has already developed in its "Kalaetron" product family. In addition to the sensor suite, a system architecture for the integration of the SIGINT capability into the future mission system of the Eurodrone will also be developed as part of this order, Hensoldt continues.

"Based on our experience with other SIGINT projects and our own technology programs, we are able to offer a flexible SIGINT solution for the Eurodrone that can be integrated into a pod, but can also be used in a network with other platforms," ​​says Christoph Ruffner, Head of the Spectrum Dominance & Airborne Solutions division at Hensoldt.

According to Hensoldt, the "Kalaetron" product family is already being used in self-defence and signal intelligence systems in the German armed forces. The company has already demonstrated its communications intelligence (C-ESM) capabilities on its own initiative in ground and flight tests. The core elements of the system are a fully digitized, broadband receiver, an electronically controllable antenna and a compact structure of the electronic components that was only made possible by metallic 3D printing. Combined, these elements allowed the SIGINT equipment to be incorporated into a compact pod system that could be easily integrated into airborne platforms but also scaled for sea and land applications.

Editors / gwh