Saab AB signed a combined $25 million contract with the Australian Defence Forces to upgrade the Army’s RBS 70 ground-based air defense weapons system and the Giraffe AMB radar, the company said Monday.

The contract will have Saab upgrade the existing Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) capability of the RBS 70 and Giraffe AMB systems to include Mode 5 functionality. Mode 5 uses modern modulation, coding, and cryptographic techniques to increase performance and security systems of the current Mode 4 waveform functionality. Mode 5 also provides expanded data handling capability to securely pass GPS position and other extended data.

RBS 70 Photo: Saab
RBS 70
Photo: Saab

Saab said the IFF capability is generally a critical safety feature in all ground-based air defense systems because it drastically reduces the chance of incorrectly engaging friendly aircraft. This IFF update is meant to support Australia’s forces operating past 2030.

The RBS 70 has been in service in Australia since 1987, but with advances in the weapon sight and missile. The Giraffe AMB radar was procured in 2010 and is a capability of the Australian Army’s 16th Air Land Regiment. The radar provides airspace situational awareness, early warning of incoming rocket/mortar attacks, and locates hostile indirect fire.

Girafffe AMB. Photo: Saab Group
Girafffe AMB.
Photo: Saab Group

Dean Rosenfield, managing director of Saab’s Australia subsidiary, noted the company has had a relationship with the country’s military for over 30 years, particularly supporting surveillance and air defense capabilities.

“Saab’s IFF Mode 5 upgrade will ensure the Australian Army’s RBS 70 and Giraffe AMB radar capabilities continue to provide world-leading force protection against a wide range of air threats,” Dean Rosenfield, managing director of Saab’s Australia subsidiary, said in a statement.