Thales Launches Fixed-Panel Friend-Foe Identification System for the French Navy’s Future Frigates

Thales is unveiling the TSA6000, the first IFF (identification friend or foe) interrogator to use flat fixed-array active antenna technology. This new solution provides 360° coverage around the vessel, with no trade-off in range capabilities, and an unprecedented and extremely fast identification capability.

Identifying air targets after they have been detected is crucially important in the theatre of operations. To meet this need of the Forces, the TSA6000 is the latest addition to its family of IFF interrogators. Smaller, lighter and more efficient than a rotating antenna system, the interrogator can identify targets extremely quickly and is set to revolutionise IFF identification.

The fully digital TSA6000 comprises four fixed antenna panels to provide 360° coverage and unprecedented identification performance.

A press statement from Thales stated that naval forces today need to be able to rely on new technology to make the best decisions when it matters most. Thales helps them conduct their missions more safely at every critical moment, building on its air surveillance expertise and in-depth knowledge of operational contexts to develop high-value end-to-end IFF solutions.

“Based on a revolutionary all-digital flat fixed-array technology, the TSA6000 IFF identification system provides a smart 360° electronic scanning (or e-scan) capability enabling extremely fast identification of new types of threats,” it further stated.

The four-panel antenna design allows full 360° coverage, overcoming the problem of signal masking caused by a ship’s topside infrastructure, especially if it has multiple masts.

Smaller and lighter, the TSA6000 is much easier for systems integrators to position and install on a vessel compared to IFF systems with rotating array antennas or fixed cylindrical arrays.

The TSA6000’s panels are independent from the radar system for even greater flexibility of installation and maintenance. Its modular, scalable all-digital architecture also simplifies support operations significantly: each panel comprises multiple modules for built-in redundancy and to help ensure the system is permanently available. In addition, the system has no mechanical or rotating parts, considerably increasing reliability and reducing time to repair.

The TSA6000 is compliant with Mode 5, the new NATO secure identification standard. With this new product, Thales offers an ultra high-performance identification capability with guaranteed interoperability between NATO and allied forces for the decades ahead.

The TSA6000 will equip the French Navy’s future FDI-class frigates from 2021 alongside the Sea Fire radar from Thales, which also has a flat-panel array. The radar / IFF combination will offer a near-instantaneous detection and identification capability against high-velocity threats.

As a global market leader in IFF identification, Thales provides a complete range of IFF solutions to meet the current and future needs of the armed forces. To date, over 20,000 IFF devices from Thales have been installed on 100 different types of land, air and naval platforms in 70 countries.

“The TSA6000 is the latest addition to the Thales family of IFF products and meets the full range of current and future operational requirements. With its unique digital architecture, it is designed to evolve in line with emerging requirements and future threats. We’re proud to be providing state-of-the-art and ever more innovative solutions to ensure the highest levels of protection for the armed forces and help them conduct their operations safely,” Florence Gourgeon, Vice President Radio communications, Thales.




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