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Land Forces 2018: Australian Army SHORAD Certified to Mode 5

RBS 70 Achieves First Certification Outside USA


Saab announced on 4 September that its Australian subsidiary has achieved a major milestone in gaining US certification for its latest update to the Australian Army’s short-range air defence (SHORAD) system to the latest Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) standard, Modes 5.

With this certification, the army’s RBS 70 missile system can be safely deployed on operations with US and coalition forces. This is a particularly important milestone as this is the first certification work actually undertaken in Australia and the first SHORAD certification outside of the USA. The Mode 5 upgrade provides a more secure way of identifying Australian, US and coalition combat units to avoid the chance of ‘blue-on-blue’ fratricide incidents. The certification activities involved co-operation between the Air 90 Project Office, Combat Systems SPO, Saab Australia Pty Ltd and Saab Dynamics AB.

The three key components of the army’s SHORAD system supplied by Saab are being upgraded: the RBS 70 missile launcher; the GIRAFFE AMB radar; and the Tactical Command and Control System (TaCCS), which was developed in Australia by Saab to analyse radar tracks, allocate threats to one or more RBS 70s and provide cueing of the RBS 70 to the track.

The GIRAFFE AMB radar provides powerful 3D surveillance and C3 functionality, with early warning against multiple air threats – including incoming rocket, artillery and mortar rounds – to give combat teams better protection.

IFF Mode 5 ensures Australian ground-based air defence crews can participate in allied missions operating in shared airspaces confidently. Mode 5 is critical for knowing who is a friend and who isn’t in complex operational environments,” explained Saab Australia Project Manager, Trevor Bate.


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