The New Zealand Defence Force is negotiating for technology that will make the country’s surface-to-air missiles more useful in modern warfare.
New Zealand has 24 missile launchers, under the auspices of the army, and recently purchased an alerting and queuing system for them. Now, it's seeking an IFF (identification friend or foe) system that determines whether or not an incoming aircraft is potentially hostile.
Defence is understood to be in negotiations with both the US and French governments for licensing approvals.
The favoured IFF system is French-made and will need to plug into the new tactical mobile communication systems Defence will have taken delivery of by December. The radios — both portable and for vehicles — are a $134 million purchase from the US government.
Linkages between IFF and the radio systems raise issues of licensing. Sources indicate the cost of the IFF system will be around €2 million ($NZ3.6 million). The Defence project manager was not available for comment.