Press Release: EADS Defence & Security to equip Swiss military airfields with advanced air traffic control systems


Approach control system ensuring safe coordination of air traffic Increased safety due to automatic aircraft identification
18 December 2009 – EADS Defence & Security (DS) will equip Swiss military airfields with a new military approach control system to ensure flight safety in the dense air traffic of Central Europe and in particular over the mountainous terrain of Switzerland.

As the company announced on Friday, Defence Electronics, an integrated activity of DS, has been awarded a contract by the Swiss procurement authority “armasuisse” for the installation of a total of five approach control systems at the military airfields of Payerne, Emmen, Meiringen, Sion and Locarno. This order has a value of more than 130 million euros and is to be completed by the end of 2016.

The systems to be delivered under the designation “Military Approach Control System for Switzerland” (German acronym: “MALS Plus”) are intended to replace the obsolete radars previously used by the Swiss Armed Forces for military air traffic control. They will be used for approach control at the airfields themselves and also for air surveillance within a large radius to safely coordinate, amongst other things, military flight movements with civil air traffic.
“Air traffic, especially in Europe, has become so dense,” explained Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Defence Electronics, “that both civil and military air traffic control can no longer manage without the most modern radars and automatic identification systems. In this way, our products are making an important contribution to increasing the safety of our citizens in everyday life.”

The core of “MALS Plus” consists of the ASR airport surveillance radar which is also being installed by DS at 23 military airfields in Germany as part of a 250-million-euro order placed by the German Armed Forces and to be completed by 2015. For each of the five military airfields, the MALS Plus solution comprises the following components: an ASR airport surveillance radar consisting of a primary surveillance radar (PSR) and an automatic identification system of the type MSSR 2000 I (MSSR = Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar) from EADS Defence & Security. It also includes a precision approach radar (PAR) for controlling the final approach in combination with air traffic controller workstations from SELEX Galileo S.p.a., a direction finder from ROSCHI Rohde & Schwarz AG, display segments from COMSOFT GmbH as well as a connection to Switzerland’s military command and control system.

The Defence Electronics business unit has already made a name for itself by supplying identification systems in the military and civilian sector. For example, the MSSR secondary radar is deployed on board German Navy vessels and by the armed forces of France, Norway and South Korea for military friend-or-foe identification. For civil air traffic control, DE’s identification systems are used in such countries as Portugal, Bulgaria and the Philippines.

EADS Defence & Security (DS) is a systems and equipment solutions provider for armed forces and civil security worldwide. Its portfolio ranges from sensors and secure networks through missiles to aircraft and UAVs as well as global security, service and support solutions. In 2008, DS – with around 23,000 employees – achieved revenues of € 5.7 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, EADS generated revenues of € 43.3 billion and employs a workforce of about 118,000.

Pic: Difficult terrain – shown here the runway of the Swiss Airbase Meiringen surrounded by mountains – poses highest demands on the approach control system MALS Plus.


Lothar Belz Tel.: (0731) 392.3681
[email protected]