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HENSOLDT Develops Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Pod Demonstrator for Eurodrone


HENSOLDT Develops Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Pod Demonstrator for Eurodrone

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HENSOLDT Develops Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Pod Demonstrator for Eurodrone
HENSOLDT Develops Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Pod Demonstrator for Eurodrone

Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT is developing sensor equipment that can be integrated into a pod to give the recently commissioned Eurodrone a signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability. The sensor technology for reconnaissance of radio and radar signals is based on a combination of the latest technologies in digitisation, electronic beam steering and metallic 3D printing, some of which HENSOLDT has already developed in its “Kalaetron” product family. The contract for the implementation and testing of a SIGINT demonstrator worth approximately 15 million euros has now been awarded by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw).

The “Kalaetron” product family is already being used in self-protection and signals intelligence systems by the German Armed Forces, among others. On its own initiative, HENSOLDT has already demonstrated its communications reconnaissance capabilities (C-ESM) in ground and flight tests. The core elements of the system are a fully digitalised, broadband receiver, an electronically controllable antenna and a condensed structure of the electronic components that was only made possible by metallic 3D printing. In combination, these elements allow the SIGINT equipment to be incorporated into a compact pod system that can be easily integrated into flying platforms, but also scaled for sea and land applications.

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The European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS), or Eurodrone, is a twin-turboprop MALE UAV under development by Airbus, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo for Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with a first flight expected by mid-2027. (Photo by Airbus)

“From our experience with other SIGINT projects and our own technology programmes, we are in a position to offer a flexible SIGINT solution for the Eurodrone that can be integrated into a pod, but can also be used networked with other platforms,” says Christoph Ruffner, Head of the Spectrum Dominance & Airborne Solutions Division at HENSOLDT. In addition to the sensor suite itself, HENSOLDT is also developing a system architecture for integrating the SIGINT capability into the future mission system of the Eurodrone as part of this contract.

Hensoldt AG (HENSOLDT) is a multinational corporation headquartered in Germany which focuses on sensor technologies for protection and surveillance missions in the defence, security and aerospace sectors. The company originated from the electronics business unit of the defence division of the Airbus Group. At the end of February 2017, Airbus sold this business unit to the US financial investor KKR for 1.1 billion euros. Since December 2020, Federal Republic of Germany holds a minimum share, which is managed by the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg). Hensoldt’s main office is in Taufkirchen near Munich, Germany. On 25 September 2020, HENSOLDT AG was listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at an issue price of 12.00 euros.

HENSOLDT Develops Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Pod Demonstrator for Eurodrone
HENSOLDT has already successfully tested a communications intelligence demonstrator on board a GFD GmbH Learjet test aircraft. (Photo by GFD GmbH)

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