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EADS to Supply Data-link for German Army Reconnaissance Drone 'KZO'

EADS to Supply Data-link for German Army Reconnaissance Drone 'KZO'

  • Worldwide unrivalled jamming resistance

  • Cutting edge technology for unmanned aerial vehicles

Source: EADS, Ulm, March 21, 2006.

KZO Drone Rheinmetall © Photo.

KZO Drone - Rheinmetall © Photo

After the official handing over of the first series-system of the Rheinmetall reconnaissance drone 'KZO' ("Kleinfluggerät Zielortung") to the German Army, EADS Defence Electronics has now started the series production of the 'KZO' data-link system. The data-link system guarantees a world-wide unrivalled jamming resistance in the data-transfer between the drone and the ground station. 

Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of EADS Defence Electronics (EADS © Photo).

Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of EADS Defence Electronics (EADS © Photo)

"Our data-link contains world-wide unrivalled capabilities which can be used on the most differing aerial devices. This is the most modern technology for the future topic unmanned air vehicles" stated Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of EADS Defence Electronics.

The data link system consists of an Air Data Terminal (ADT) in the drone and a Ground Data Terminal (GDT) on the ground. In doing this, the extremely small and compact ADT was specified using special miniaturisation techniques especially for unmanned aerial vehicles. It permits interference-free real-time data-transfer of large quantities of data over more than 120 km.

KZO Drone Rheinmetall © Photo.

KZO Drone - Rheinmetall © Photo

Using the data-link system, mission information and control signals are sent from the ground to the drone, as well as vice versa, the operational data of the drone and video signals via broadband channels are transmitted back to the ground station. In case of lower demands on the jamming security, the transmission rate can be increased.

Due to the automatic alignment of very narrow beam antennas in the drone and on the ground, the application of spread spectrum and frequency-hopping technologies as well as further state of the art methods in signal processing, the data-transfer displays a previously unachieved resistance against jamming. In addition, Defence Electronics uses radar-techniques which measure the position of the drone with the highest precision independently of GPS. Therefore, missions can be safely carried out despite GPS failures. The first development steps for the data link were made by the EADS predecessor companies on the German and French sides in the Brevel programme.

The EADS data link is also being used in a modified form in the French experimental program SIDM (Système Intermédiaire de Drone MALE), which is a reconnaissance UAV system for altitudes up to 12,000 metres and extended flight times. The data link system has also demonstrated its reliability in the Rheinmetall Defence Electronics' OPALE surveillance and reconnaissance system.

Defence Electronics is an integrated business unit of EADS-Division Defence & Security Systems (DS). With a turnover of approximately 5.6 billion Euro in 2005 and approx. 23,000 employees in ten countries, DS combines the most important defence and security activities at EADS. DS is a leading supplier of integrated system solutions (Large Systems Integration – LSI) for the new demands on the forces and security services. DS is active in integrated, flying combat and missions systems (manned and unmanned) and the related training systems. In addition, guided missiles systems and combat control systems for all branches of the services, global security systems, secure communications solutions, defence electronics, sensor technology and avionics as well as the related services belong to the portfolio.

EADS is a world-wide leading company in the aerospace and space industries, in the defence business and related services, with a turnover of 34.2 billion Euros in 2005 and over 113,000 employees.


  • Lothar Belz -- Ulm, Germany -- Tel.: +49 (0) 731-392.3681

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).