HENSOLDT

provides solutions

2 segments,
4 divisions

one goal

A new approach
to service

Sales
from a product supplier
to a solution provider

Eurofighter
opportunity
of the century

FCAS
achieving air superiority in the cloud

MGCS
armoured
intelligence

MAWS
when frigates
learn to fly

Go, HENSOLDT GO!

HENSOLDT’s business is divided into two segments: Sensors and Optronics. Sensors comprises three divisions: Radar, IFF & COMMS, Spectrum Dominance & Airborne Solutions and Customer Services. Optronics comprises our Optronics division. Together they are driving global growth and achieving remarkable successes in their individual sectors.

The heads of our three production divisions explain their highlights from 2019 and their plans for 2020.

Radar, IFF & COMMS

Erwin Paulus

“HENSOLDT’s core business has traditionally included mission-critical premium products in the fields of defence and security radars, air traffic control with friend-or-foe identification (IFF) and data communications for air, sea and land platforms of various manufacturers worldwide. These products are bundled within our Radar, IFF & COMMS division. In 2019, we were able to expand our product portfolio in this division with some interesting innovations:

Apart from the first prototypes of our TRML-4D – the ground-based variant of our new digital 4D naval radar – we added a 3D model to our Spexer 2000 family of radar systems for border, infrastructure, perimeter and coastal surveillance. We received the first order for our PrecISR airborne multi-mission surveillance radar and have delivered the first prototype for flight tests. And finally, our MSSR 2000 ID identification system – the acronym means Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar – became the first non-US product to be certified without restrictions by the United States Department of Defense. We thus meet all of the requirements for supplying IFF devices for the upcoming conversion of all NATO identification systems to the future Mode 5 standard.

During the annual congress of the American approval authority for IFF devices, HENSOLDT also celebrated with international visitors the official launch of its non-rotating NESIS 4000, or Naval Electronically Steered IFF System. The first NESIS 4000 system will already be delivered to a Scandinavian customer in 2020.

In 2020, we expect to install the first unit of our Airport Surveillance Radar at Frankfurt Airport, deliver the first TRML-4D ground radars and aim to receive the first orders for our new passive radar system. Furthermore, an important decision on the largest investment of the German Armed Forces of more than 5 billion euros is due to be taken this year, namely the awarding of the contract for the new MKS 180 multi-role combat ship for the German Navy. In 2020, we are also expecting an order for the new Eurofighter Common Radar System Mk1, for which HENSOLDT will assume radar system responsibility for the first time in its history.

In 2019, the division achieved 361.7 million euros of revenue. With our top innovations in the field of digital radar, we are also ideally positioned for the future.”

“By ensuring superiority not just on land, at sea and in the air, but over the entire electromagnetic spectrum and cyberspace, we enable our customers to detect danger at an early stage and protect themselves, both in the defence sector and non-defence scenarios. We develop special sensors to collect data, intelligent software to process it and tools to restrict data access and prevent tampering. In this way, we ensure information superiority for our (end-)customers – and, not least, military success.

Our Airborne Solutions portfolio offers a wide range of avionics for manned and unmanned and defence and non-defence platforms, as well as systems for orientation in poor visibility, based on sensors in our portfolio. The Airborne Solutions segment benefits from our know-how and ability to deliver integrated airborne systems that combine our avionics products with our other sensors. Our declared goal is to expand our market position as a strong partner to our customers when it comes to providing comprehensive mission systems for major European programmes.

The following are among the 2019 highlights:

In the Spectrum Dominance segment, the launch of our new Kalætron product family was a great success. During the Electronic Warfare Europe Conference in Stockholm in March, HENSOLDT presented the Kalætron RWR radar warning receiver, which revolutionises the protection of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters against radar-guided weapons. We then presented the Kalætron Integral signals intelligence system at the Paris Air Show in June. Both communications and radar signals can be detected and comprehensively evaluated with this.

At the International Fighter Conference in Berlin in November, HENSOLDT joined with Airbus in presenting the first details of its new ECR (Electronic Combat Role) concept for the Eurofighter. For this purpose, we have developed a state-of-the-art escort jammer concept based on the Kalætron family of products.

We are also an important partner in the non-defence sector for ensuring superiority in the electromagnetic spectrum. Take, for example, our spectrum monitoring systems, which provide telecommunications regulatory authorities, homeland security services and maritime institutions with valuable information on how the radio spectrum is being used. In 2019, we won a major international order for these systems, which are already in use in many countries, and also gained the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) as a new customer.

In the Airborne Solutions segment, we not only added a new flight recorder for light aircraft, small helicopters and drones to our avionics portfolio, but also signed important contracts for the further development of our products. This included a contract with Airbus Helicopters to add new functions to the ETMC (EuroGrid Tactical Mission Computer) system for helicopters.

In the field of urban air mobility, we are involved in a European initiative to define the regulatory framework for future VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, to establish flight routes above cities and regions, and to provide technical solutions that are essential for autonomous flight operations. For example, we are already supplying the first ground systems that allow unmanned aerial vehicles to be monitored and guided and their routes to be controlled (see chapter HENSOLDT innovations, air taxis – autonomous and safe).

One of the most significant successes this year for the future of HENSOLDT in the field of Airborne Solutions is our participation in a concept study for the Franco-German-Spanish initiative for the development of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). With an expected service life of at least several decades, FCAS is regarded as one of Europe’s largest and most comprehensive future projects in the world of defence. Together with other German industrial partners, HENSOLDT has founded the German FCMS consortium. with the aim of jointly assuming responsibility for the complex issue of the networked operation of sensors and effectors in the FCAS network (see chapter HENSOLDT provides solutions, FCAS – achieving air superiority in the cloud).

And these are just some of the many highlights for our division in the 2019 financial year, in which we achieved 276.7 million euros of revenue.”

Optronics

Andreas Hülle

“The manufacture of optronics and optical products for defence and security applications is virtually written into HENSOLDT’s often-quoted DNA. Today, our solutions in the areas of daylight vision, thermal imaging, image intensification, and laser rangefinding and stabilisation are used on various platforms – including submarines, armoured vehicles, manned and unmanned aircraft and satellites. We have made a name for ourselves worldwide thanks to the robustness and modularity of our client-specific products.

2019 was also marked by a large number of new orders. Here are a few examples:

Our top-selling Land & Security applications won a major contract in Algeria for border security. Protection for additional border sections is expected to be added as early as 2020, and the order could be extended to include the protection of oil fields, for example. Moreover, we supplied the 350th optronics system kit for Puma infantry fighting vehicles and received a large order for Leopard upgrades.

With our Naval applications, we are the world market leader outside the US in periscopes for submarines and optronics mast systems (laser rangefinders, daylight/night vision cameras). In 2019, we received an unprecedented volume of orders, including from the Turkish, Pakistani and Indian navies. Furthermore, we will also be equipping the Royal Thai Navy’s submarines in the future.

Our Aerospace applications also enjoyed numerous successes in 2019. In addition to satellite communications systems, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has commissioned us to supply components for the JUICE mission (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer), which is scheduled for launch in 2022.

And finally, we successfully completed flight trials to test our Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) technology. The aim of this wide-area persistent surveillance is to produce a comprehensive overview of the particular situation. Such images were successfully taken during flight tests. In the future, defence applications could include, for example, the protection of military camps as well as specific missions in major projects such as FCAS or MAWS for maritime reconnaissance. In the non-defence sector, use for crowd monitoring, e.g. the surveillance of large-scale events, is a particular objective.

In addition, our site in Wetzlar, which specialises in telescopes, is making an important contribution to the German Bundeswehr’s Future Soldier programme by supplying, among other things, complete optical sights and a night vision attachment. Besides this, we have successfully expanded our site in South Africa to create an engineering hub. In 2019, we recorded 277.4 million euros of revenue and all signs point to go for 2020 as well.”

Some of the most important product innovations mentioned here are described in more detail on the following pages of this annual report.

Does customer service always have to be a secondary business? No! At HENSOLDT, it is actually a fundamental part of core business and contributes strongly to growth.

HENSOLDT products often have to last multiple decades. Consequently, it must be possible to adapt them to new challenges during this time, which means that users need ongoing training. That is why HENSOLDT took a different approach to customer service from the outset and divided it into three strategic areas.

Three areas – one objective

The Aftermarket Product and System Support area forms the core. With different service agreements, up to and including the full-service offering as for the Eurofighter, it ensures that the functionality on which human lives often depend is maintained throughout each product’s life. Simulation Solutions, supporting training on handling increasingly complex solutions, was added in recent years as a new growth sector. And, finally, Special Services is intended to offer tailored solutions for products in HENSOLDT and third-party portfolios. Complementing training courses with their modular concept form a type of interface between HENSOLDT equipment and the people who operate and maintain it.

Based on decades of experience, all three areas – each successful in their own right with their highly qualified employees – contribute significantly to HENSOLDT’s business success.

From development to decommissioning

The comprehensive customer service approach at HENSOLDT is based on the philosophy that the company’s systems are not replaced after a short period of time, as is the case with consumer goods, but can be re-engineered and updated on an ongoing basis thanks to their open design. Not only the hardware, but also the software must often prove its worth and be updatable over decades – even if the original software provider ceases to provide maintenance for its system.

To ensure this, HENSOLDT’s Customer Services team is involved at an early stage in the process of product development, taking the perspective of future buyers. Even in this early phase, a service concept defining all aspects from maintenance intervals and training through to spare parts storage is worked out together with the customer.

In this way, long-term use of the company’s increasingly complex technical solutions is ensured in a routine and professional manner, at calculable cost for the customer. However, alarm bells start ringing when something does not work as it should. That is when HENSOLDT’s Global Field Service comes into play, jumping into action to support customers all over the world. Service employees travel to the most remote places on earth at short notice. Always with the necessary materials in their luggage, provided this is possible within this time frame given export and customs requirements.

When theory becomes practice

Simulation Solutions proves that breaking new ground is now practically routine practice for Customer Services. An independent business model with significant growth potential has developed from the customer service provided for simulators of the former EADS business unit. This is demonstrated by the fact that HENSOLDT provides train simulation solutions for train drivers in Germany, Italy and India, for instance. And in the defence area, as well, demand for simulators is rising due to ever more challenging operational requirements in relation to increasingly complex technology. In this context, HENSOLDT is currently developing training simulators for its radars, naturally with Customer Services at the helm.

Long-term success

Not only do customers appreciate our Customer Services portfolio, but it also increases their loyalty to the company. And the often long-term nature of our contracts ensure foreseeable and profitable sales.

With service centres around the world, HENSOLDT’s Customer Services team supports several hundred direct customers. Following the acquisition of an Australian service provider in 2019 – which now operates as HENSOLDT Australia and is active in the APAC region – there are hardly any blank spots left on HENSOLDT’s global service map.

Temur Karbassioun (Head of Customer Services) and Peter Schlote (Chief Operating Officer)

HENSOLDT’s Global Field Service impressively demonstrated its effectiveness during a mission in Chile. The client, an aerospace and defence contractor, had encountered an issue while equipping a ship for the Chilean Navy and got in touch immediately. This was the beginning of an eventful week for the HENSOLDT team.

After carrying out initial remote diagnostics, the team collected any parts that might have been needed and requested the necessary documents for customs and export clearance. Although a complicated and bureaucratic process, this was still completed within three days. The team set off with the parts, reaching the site in Chile after a 30-hour trip – just four days after the initial contact.

The technicians specially trained in the product – a TRS-4D ROT radar in this instance – got to work. On-site analysis proved that the cooling system was not working properly. After this had been dismantled, repaired and remounted on site, the final check showed that the radar was working perfectly again. Less than one week after the initial call, the employees were back at their home site in Kiel and able to report: problem solved.

HENSOLDT has been very well positioned to date with its product and regional sales set-ups. With ever-greater demand for comprehensive offerings, however, a new additional ‘domain account’ structure has been put in place to specifically look for and offer solutions spanning multiple business units and divisions.

This approach is based on customers’ growing need for overall solutions that address capability gaps. For this, different platform and mission requirements must be analysed, independent of products, and possible solution concepts developed. Only then does HENSOLDT select the various products for its offering. This allows the company to tap into new sales opportunities by also offering additional sensors, datalinks or products as an overall solution in combination with individual radars or cameras, for example.

One team – one mission – one goal

In the era of globalisation and with increasingly complex products and solutions, a good sales operation needs a 360-degree view of its customers. For example, if the builder of a navy ship orders a radar for its new frigate, it is entirely possible that it may also be interested in other products – from various sensors for monitoring the surroundings and laser or radar warning systems through to state-of-the-art navigation technology. Customers are increasingly focusing on solutions that help to close capability gaps. Self-defence, for example, calls for not only sensors for detecting threats, but also other components that can be used to take and manage countermeasures, some of which can also be offered by HENSOLDT. Take, for instance, radar detection of a target, which is visually identified as a threat via camera and neutralised by means of a countermeasure with the aid of a datalink. An integrated overall solution, made up of individual products, offers real added value in such scenarios. The same holds for projects such as the Future Combat Air System, which is focused from the outset on the strategic interplay of different systems.

And precisely this solution-oriented approach is now being pursued at HENSOLDT by its sales areas: Space, Air, Sea, Land, Security, Cyber and Services. With a small, competent team that can be temporarily expanded as needed to include specialists from Product Sales or even Engineering, for example, they can respond to the particulars of any customer request. The new domain sales approach is very promising as HENSOLDT’s overall portfolio with solutions from all four divisions reveals untapped opportunities and the potential for developing new market segments. At the same time, this new approach also allows for the adoption of a market-driven strategy and alignment of the entire portfolio on a cross-divisional basis – additionally supported by Communications having now been reorganised along domain lines as well.

Focus on the customer at all times

The new domain structure was unveiled to the public at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London in September 2019. For the first time, HENSOLDT showcased itself there with a stand that no longer focused on individual products, but on the company’s overall domain competence covering land, sea, air and space as well as cyberspace, services and security applications.

And this is increasingly what partners and customers want. In addition to its competence as a product supplier, HENSOLDT is now able to position itself as a solutions provider covering all aspects of defence and security projects.

Having assumed responsibility for the new Eurofighter radar system, a new era begins for HENSOLDT as a system provider. This represents a huge business opportunity – in terms of future orders, as well.

The CAPTOR-M radar with mechanically scanned antenna, as used in various versions in the Eurofighter, is already based on HENSOLDT technology and has been praised by pilots as particularly powerful. Now that a stage has been reached where it cannot be developed any further, it is being replaced by a radar with electronic beam scanning: the CAPTOR-E. With its more than 1,400 transmit-and-receive modules integrated directly into the antenna, it can perform several tasks simultaneously, such as ground surveillance, target tracking and missile guidance, thus significantly enhancing the Eurofighter’s performance.

For the CAPTOR-E, HENSOLDT produces the antenna with the transmit-and-receive modules as well as parts of the processor, receiver and software. In addition, the company expects to start development of the future Eurofighter Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk1, which would offer even more possibilities thanks to its multi-channel reception capability. If the project, which is currently under consideration by the participating states Germany and Spain, goes ahead, this would also open up new operational roles for the aircraft, especially in air-to-ground reconnaissance. For the ECRS Mk1, HENSOLDT would not just be supplying subsystems within the Euroradar consortium, but will also be responsible for the entire system design for the first time.

High requirements

Fighter aircraft radar systems have been one of HENSOLDT’s core areas since the 1960s, alongside ground and naval systems, and have been relied upon by Starfighter, Tornado, Phantom and Eurofighter pilots. Consequently, assuming overall system design responsibility for the new Eurofighter radar is the logical next step for HENSOLDT in view of its comprehensive radar expertise.

In addition to developing and supplying components for the CAPTOR-E radar, HENSOLDT expects to be tasked in the future with defining, coordinating and verifying interfaces to the fighter aircraft’s new overall system in connection with the ECRS Mk1 radar. Added to these will be integration, the development of software-based extensions to the radar functionality and certification issues. Thus, if approved, the next Eurofighter radar ECRS Mk1 would be a HENSOLDT system in its entirety.

Practical changes

This enormous responsibility goes hand in hand with a fundamental change that runs through many areas of the company. Even in the bidding phase, teams from a wide variety of areas worked together across the board, sometimes using newly introduced agile methods. In the future, harmonious cooperation between product management, system architecture and agile software development teams should be established and extended to hardware development, wherever possible.

The CAPTOR-E and Mk1 projects would also bring about numerous changes at HENSOLDT’s Ulm site, as more than 5,000 square metres of floor space would be required, well over half of which would have to be designated a restricted area. And the number of employees working on this project, currently around 165, would almost double in the coming years.

New business opportunities

However, this investment in the future is worthwhile, securing highly valuable development and production orders of CAPTOR-E.

And that is just the beginning. With system design responsibility for the ECRS Mk1, HENSOLDT might be getting the chance to become a system provider for fighter radar systems in the medium term. Potentially not just for the Eurofighter, but future flying platforms as well.

Dr. Thomas Buro (Head of Eurofighter Radar)

The Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is currently being defined, will take Europe’s aerial warfare capabilities to a new level from 2040. In this gigantic project for the future, HENSOLDT aims to contribute its visions as a developer of new products and skills.

Germany, France and Spain already agree: Europe should get a sixth-generation combat aircraft, the Next Generation Fighter (NGF). Like the existing Eurofighter and Rafale weapon systems, the NGF is to be networked with other units in the air and on the ground via a combat cloud. And that is just the beginning, because the data from sensors, effectors and manned and unmanned aircraft should also merge in the cloud to form a common system of systems. With a service life of at least several decades, FCAS is regarded as one of Europe’s largest and most comprehensive future projects in the world of defence.

Thinking outside the box

Data (including its transmission and use) and the information superiority ensured by it are a core element of HENSOLDT’s entire portfolio. The increasing importance of data is reflected by the company’s creation of a new ‘Domain’ level for the development of future solutions across multiple products and divisions in the following application areas (domains): Air, Land, Sea, Security and Others (including Space, Cyberspace and Services). After all, data still has value beyond its use for individual weapon systems and products.

This fits perfectly with FCAS, because all of its systems will and must work together. Not just ‘in the air’, but also in the Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) (see chapter HENSOLDT provides solutions: MAWS – when frigates learn to fly) and the planned Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) (see chapter HENSOLDT provides solutions: MGCS – armoured intelligence).

To help develop the overall architecture for this mission and command & control system, the FCMS consortium has been established among the German companies HENSOLDT, ESG, Diehl Defence and Rohde & Schwarz. In the future, after all, it is not the systems that will have to adapt to products and platforms, but the other way around. In the case of FCAS, for example, this means that fighter aircraft, combat helicopters and drones will have to adapt to the all-encompassing Future Combat Mission System.

Interdisciplinary potential

Overall, it is estimated that FCAS will involve an investment volume of approximately 300 billion euros over its entire lifecycle. In addition to the system architecture, the NGF, which is to replace the Eurofighter and Rafale, will create additional business opportunities for HENSOLDT’s radar, electronic warfare and avionics units. And the drones of tomorrow will also need radar, optronics and avionics equipment.

HENSOLDT is participating as a national sensor house in one of seven German ‘lead industries’ in a concept study that is currently being prepared for the future operational structure and equipment requirements. The first fighter aircraft, drone, sensor system and combat cloud demonstrators are set to be developed from 2021 and will then be tested in a new simulation laboratory. In the team: HENSOLDT.

Ready for tomorrow

During the Timber Express air force exercise, HENSOLDT was able to impressively demonstrate the possibilities that are opened up by combining data from different systems. In the presence of high-ranking representatives of the Bundeswehr, the German procurement authority BAAINBw and other allied forces, Bundeswehr helicopters connected directly to NATO’s tactical data link network (Link 16) via HENSOLDT’s Optarion operations support system. The upgrade for the EuroNav 7 helicopter navigation system, which was also presented, enabled tactical information to be exchanged between several helicopters and with Navy and Air Force networks. Such a tactical advantage should ensure that this equipment is soon included as a matter of course.

With the planned Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), a modern main battle tank with numerous assistance systems is to be created by 2035 as an intelligently networked ground combat centre. This system will offer numerous areas of interest for HENSOLDT’s product portfolio.

Tanks were once relatively sluggish and rigid vehicles, comparable to heavy cavalry. This will not be the case with the new battle tank that Germany is planning to develop together with France over the coming years. As the successor to the German Leopard 2 and its French counterpart the Leclerc, it is set to revolutionise ground combat with state-of-the-art technology from 2035. Germany and France have already signed a joint declaration of intent. The framework agreement is expected to be concluded in spring 2020, the first functional models are to be produced by 2025 and prototypes are to be designed by 2035, followed by the implementation phase.

High-tech support

As an established partner to the German and French armed forces, HENSOLDT can support the project in almost all electronic, sensory and optronics areas with technologies that already exist or are currently being developed.

HENSOLDT’s day and night vision devices in combination with its proven radars can provide the necessary information to reliably detect targets. Thanks to this information and the data from networked, autonomously operating drones, crews can obtain a comprehensive overview of their surroundings, especially as the VADR drone developed by HENSOLDT’s subsidiary EuroAvionics can be equipped with special HD cameras and laser mapping functions, both individually and in a swarm, allowing it to monitor the entire theatre; moreover, its jammers can also disrupt enemy drones. All available sensor information can be filtered by assistance systems and presented to the user in a virtual 360° environment. Together with multi-purpose jammers and missile, radar and laser warning systems installed in the vehicle, all from HENSOLDT’s own portfolio, these features can increase crew safety.

Moreover, data can help the driver navigate, even without GPS thanks to the SETAS system developed by HENSOLDT – right up to autonomous driving.

HENSOLDT’s portfolio also includes secure and proven laser communication systems for exchanging data with the command and control centre and other units on the ground, at sea, in the air and in space and for communication between individual vehicles via an autonomous relay drone.

Secured by HENSOLDT’s cyberprotection for hardware and software, an overall system can thus be created that brings all of the necessary data and information together. For example, this allows indirect engagement of targets, where one tank locates the target while it is being engaged from a different position. Artificial intelligence supports crews in evaluating the current situation and offers strategic suggestions.

Business potential

This means that there are many opportunities for HENSOLDT. In fact, the new MGCS battle tank may eventually not just be deployed by Germany and France, but Poland and Scandinavia have also shown an interest. And other countries may follow. HENSOLDT will thus vigorously promote its participation in the project in the coming years.

Current status

The Franco-German MGCS defence project has been running since 2012. It aims to develop the first joint battle tank to replace the Leopard 2 and the Leclerc. On the industrial side, Germany will take the leading role. Those predominantly involved include KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS), headquartered in Amsterdam (Netherlands) – created from defence companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) from Germany and state-owned Nexter Systems from France, which merged in spring 2015 – as well as German defence group Rheinmetall. The project is also being supported by the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL). Further consultations are currently underway.

In the future Franco-German Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) project, system capabilities are more important than flight characteristics for the first time.

The German Navy’s P-3C Orion, designed for anti-submarine warfare, made its first flight in 1959. The Breguet Atlantic 2, used by the French Navy for maritime reconnaissance, first took off in 1961. Both will reach the end of their service life by 2035 at the latest. Their successor is to be a new, joint Maritime Airborne Warfare System. As a first in the history of military aviation, the process will not be started by aircraft manufacturers developing designs for a new platform, but by a consortium of military system providers defining the overall weapon system requirements, deriving the platform definition in consequence. HENSOLDT, as part of a consortium, submitted a proposal for a joint feasibility study. The contract for this study is expected to be awarded in the second half of 2020.

Maritime all-rounder

In 2018, French procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) and the German Ministry of Defence decided to jointly develop a new maritime patrol aircraft. It was clear from the outset that this new MAWS would also have state-of-the-art capabilities in anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare and would also serve as a command post above the high seas. The catalogue of requirements and multitude of required features were so comprehensive that the MAWS quickly earned the nickname ‘flying frigate’.

The clients recognised the importance of the architecture of the integrated combat system, which is why the above-mentioned consortium of four system providers was invited to make a proposal for carrying out the feasibility study.

The big picture

If the feasibility study contract is won, HENSOLDT, together with ESG, Diehl Defence and Thales, its three partners in the consortium, will work on the future requirements over the next two years with a core team in Paris. In addition to the architecture of the warfare system, the focus is also on selecting suitable aircraft platforms and manufacturers. As with the Future Combat Air System (see chapter HENSOLDT provides solutions: FCAS – achieving air superiority in the cloud), the planned comprehensive exchange of data with other branches of the armed forces will also play a decisive role here.

‘Wave 2’, the second phase in the HENSOLDT GO! transformation programme, is in full swing. Its overarching goal: cross-functional optimisation of all areas through even closer cooperation.

From a business unit of a large corporation to an independent company in international competition – HENSOLDT has managed to successfully negotiate this transition within a very short space of time. The HENSOLDT GO! transformation programme set out the action areas and objectives for this. Processes, workflows and the entire corporate culture have undergone a profound process of change. Core areas such as Procurement, Production and Engineering have been optimised, workflows have been redefined, and efficiency has been increased on a sustained basis. The success of these measures is evidenced not only by figures, but also by the employees’ new entrepreneurial way of thinking and acting.

And the transformation continues. With Wave 2 of HENSOLDT GO!, the aim is to maintain the momentum from Wave 1 in terms of growth, innovation and competitiveness.

Dynamic supply chain management

Innovation cycles and product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter, and companies need to keep developing and improving in order to secure their long-term survival. HENSOLDT is meeting this challenge with cultural change encompassing all departments and units.

By introducing company-wide, cross-functional supply chain management that incorporates suppliers, internal processes and customer requirements, HENSOLDT is looking to optimise the flow of information, materials and money. The dynamic interaction of the different parts of the supply chain that has been required due to the reduced vertical integration of production and the increasing division of labour makes all the difference. The focus is on dynamically coupling divisional sales and project management, including customer service and sourcing, with current production plans in order to avoid waste and inefficiencies to the greatest possible extent.

This approach, which has long proven itself in parts of the industry, will now make management of the numerous ongoing projects at HENSOLDT much more efficient while further accelerating cooperation between the different functions.

After all, working together to create an optimal, lean process is the basis for implementing digital, integrated supply chain management.

Building competence and efficiency

Another focal point is the implementation of measures aimed at promoting development and engineering excellence and optimising production and inventory coverage.

For example, cross-divisional coordination in R&T and R&D not only provides the necessary flexibility, but also allows basic principles for further product development to be jointly established and resources to be optimally used.

A culture of continuous improvement is being established with the goal of making the entire company faster and more agile and efficient. Goodbye, silo mentality – hello, comprehensive optimisation.

Like clockwork

Management understands fully that Rome was not built in a day. Rather, managers and every single employee are called upon to effect the transformation each day anew. Changes must not merely be cascaded down the hierarchical ladder, but must also be actively promoted and embedded within the company in a bottom-up approach.

The organisational optimisations already launched form the basis for long-term internal cooperation between all units. This will ensure that everything meshes smoothly, like clockwork, and that we can get the most out of this for HENSOLDT together.

2 segments, 4 divisions, one goal


HENSOLDT’s business is divided into two segments: Sensors and Optronics. Sensors comprises three divisions: Radar, IFF & COMMS, Spectrum Dominance & Airborne Solutions and Customer Services. Optronics comprises our Optronics division. Together they are driving global growth and achieving remarkable successes in their individual sectors.

The heads of our three production divisions explain their highlights from 2019 and their plans for 2020.

Radar, IFF & COMMS

Erwin Paulus

“HENSOLDT’s core business has traditionally included mission-critical premium products in the fields of defence and security radars, air traffic control with friend-or-foe identification (IFF) and data communications for air, sea and land platforms of various manufacturers worldwide. These products are bundled within our Radar, IFF & COMMS division. In 2019, we were able to expand our product portfolio in this division with some interesting innovations:

Apart from the first prototypes of our TRML-4D – the ground-based variant of our new digital 4D naval radar – we added a 3D model to our Spexer 2000 family of radar systems for border, infrastructure, perimeter and coastal surveillance. We received the first order for our PrecISR airborne multi-mission surveillance radar and have delivered the first prototype for flight tests. And finally, our MSSR 2000 ID identification system – the acronym means Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar – became the first non-US product to be certified without restrictions by the United States Department of Defense. We thus meet all of the requirements for supplying IFF devices for the upcoming conversion of all NATO identification systems to the future Mode 5 standard.

During the annual congress of the American approval authority for IFF devices, HENSOLDT also celebrated with international visitors the official launch of its non-rotating NESIS 4000, or Naval Electronically Steered IFF System. The first NESIS 4000 system will already be delivered to a Scandinavian customer in 2020.

In 2020, we expect to install the first unit of our Airport Surveillance Radar at Frankfurt Airport, deliver the first TRML-4D ground radars and aim to receive the first orders for our new passive radar system. Furthermore, an important decision on the largest investment of the German Armed Forces of more than 5 billion euros is due to be taken this year, namely the awarding of the contract for the new MKS 180 multi-role combat ship for the German Navy. In 2020, we are also expecting an order for the new Eurofighter Common Radar System Mk1, for which HENSOLDT will assume radar system responsibility for the first time in its history.

In 2019, the division achieved 361.7 million euros of revenue. With our top innovations in the field of digital radar, we are also ideally positioned for the future.”

Spectrum Dominance & Airborne Solutions

Celia Pelaz

“By ensuring superiority not just on land, at sea and in the air, but over the entire electromagnetic spectrum and cyberspace, we enable our customers to detect danger at an early stage and protect themselves, both in the defence sector and non-defence scenarios. We develop special sensors to collect data, intelligent software to process it and tools to restrict data access and prevent tampering. In this way, we ensure information superiority for our (end-)customers – and, not least, military success.

Our Airborne Solutions portfolio offers a wide range of avionics for manned and unmanned and defence and non-defence platforms, as well as systems for orientation in poor visibility, based on sensors in our portfolio. The Airborne Solutions segment benefits from our know-how and ability to deliver integrated airborne systems that combine our avionics products with our other sensors. Our declared goal is to expand our market position as a strong partner to our customers when it comes to providing comprehensive mission systems for major European programmes.

The following are among the 2019 highlights:

In the Spectrum Dominance segment, the launch of our new Kalætron product family was a great success. During the Electronic Warfare Europe Conference in Stockholm in March, HENSOLDT presented the Kalætron RWR radar warning receiver, which revolutionises the protection of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters against radar-guided weapons. We then presented the Kalætron Integral signals intelligence system at the Paris Air Show in June. Both communications and radar signals can be detected and comprehensively evaluated with this.

At the International Fighter Conference in Berlin in November, HENSOLDT joined with Airbus in presenting the first details of its new ECR (Electronic Combat Role) concept for the Eurofighter. For this purpose, we have developed a state-of-the-art escort jammer concept based on the Kalætron family of products.

We are also an important partner in the non-defence sector for ensuring superiority in the electromagnetic spectrum. Take, for example, our spectrum monitoring systems, which provide telecommunications regulatory authorities, homeland security services and maritime institutions with valuable information on how the radio spectrum is being used. In 2019, we won a major international order for these systems, which are already in use in many countries, and also gained the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) as a new customer.

In the Airborne Solutions segment, we not only added a new flight recorder for light aircraft, small helicopters and drones to our avionics portfolio, but also signed important contracts for the further development of our products. This included a contract with Airbus Helicopters to add new functions to the ETMC (EuroGrid Tactical Mission Computer) system for helicopters.

In the field of urban air mobility, we are involved in a European initiative to define the regulatory framework for future VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, to establish flight routes above cities and regions, and to provide technical solutions that are essential for autonomous flight operations. For example, we are already supplying the first ground systems that allow unmanned aerial vehicles to be monitored and guided and their routes to be controlled (see chapter HENSOLDT innovations, air taxis – autonomous and safe).

One of the most significant successes this year for the future of HENSOLDT in the field of Airborne Solutions is our participation in a concept study for the Franco-German-Spanish initiative for the development of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). With an expected service life of at least several decades, FCAS is regarded as one of Europe’s largest and most comprehensive future projects in the world of defence. Together with other German industrial partners, HENSOLDT has founded the German FCMS consortium. with the aim of jointly assuming responsibility for the complex issue of the networked operation of sensors and effectors in the FCAS network (see chapter HENSOLDT provides solutions, FCAS – achieving air superiority in the cloud).

And these are just some of the many highlights for our division in the 2019 financial year, in which we achieved 276.7 million euros of revenue.”

Optronics

Andreas Hülle

“The manufacture of optronics and optical products for defence and security applications is virtually written into HENSOLDT’s often-quoted DNA. Today, our solutions in the areas of daylight vision, thermal imaging, image intensification, and laser rangefinding and stabilisation are used on various platforms – including submarines, armoured vehicles, manned and unmanned aircraft and satellites. We have made a name for ourselves worldwide thanks to the robustness and modularity of our client-specific products.

2019 was also marked by a large number of new orders. Here are a few examples:

Our top-selling Land & Security applications won a major contract in Algeria for border security. Protection for additional border sections is expected to be added as early as 2020, and the order could be extended to include the protection of oil fields, for example. Moreover, we supplied the 350th optronics system kit for Puma infantry fighting vehicles and received a large order for Leopard upgrades.

With our Naval applications, we are the world market leader outside the US in periscopes for submarines and optronics mast systems (laser rangefinders, daylight/night vision cameras). In 2019, we received an unprecedented volume of orders, including from the Turkish, Pakistani and Indian navies. Furthermore, we will also be equipping the Royal Thai Navy’s submarines in the future.

Our Aerospace applications also enjoyed numerous successes in 2019. In addition to satellite communications systems, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has commissioned us to supply components for the JUICE mission (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer), which is scheduled for launch in 2022.

And finally, we successfully completed flight trials to test our Wide Area Motion Imagery (WAMI) technology. The aim of this wide-area persistent surveillance is to produce a comprehensive overview of the particular situation. Such images were successfully taken during flight tests. In the future, defence applications could include, for example, the protection of military camps as well as specific missions in major projects such as FCAS or MAWS for maritime reconnaissance. In the non-defence sector, use for crowd monitoring, e.g. the surveillance of large-scale events, is a particular objective.

In addition, our site in Wetzlar, which specialises in telescopes, is making an important contribution to the German Bundeswehr’s Future Soldier programme by supplying, among other things, complete optical sights and a night vision attachment. Besides this, we have successfully expanded our site in South Africa to create an engineering hub. In 2019, we recorded 277.4 million euros of revenue and all signs point to go for 2020 as well.”

Some of the most important product innovations mentioned here are described in more detail on the following pages of this annual report.

A new approach to service


Does customer service always have to be a secondary business? No! At HENSOLDT, it is actually a fundamental part of core business and contributes strongly to growth.

HENSOLDT products often have to last multiple decades. Consequently, it must be possible to adapt them to new challenges during this time, which means that users need ongoing training. That is why HENSOLDT took a different approach to customer service from the outset and divided it into three strategic areas.

Three areas – one objective

The Aftermarket Product and System Support area forms the core. With different service agreements, up to and including the full-service offering as for the Eurofighter, it ensures that the functionality on which human lives often depend is maintained throughout each product’s life. Simulation Solutions, supporting training on handling increasingly complex solutions, was added in recent years as a new growth sector. And, finally, Special Services is intended to offer tailored solutions for products in HENSOLDT and third-party portfolios. Complementing training courses with their modular concept form a type of interface between HENSOLDT equipment and the people who operate and maintain it.

Based on decades of experience, all three areas – each successful in their own right with their highly qualified employees – contribute significantly to HENSOLDT’s business success.

From development to decommissioning

The comprehensive customer service approach at HENSOLDT is based on the philosophy that the company’s systems are not replaced after a short period of time, as is the case with consumer goods, but can be re-engineered and updated on an ongoing basis thanks to their open design. Not only the hardware, but also the software must often prove its worth and be updatable over decades – even if the original software provider ceases to provide maintenance for its system.

To ensure this, HENSOLDT’s Customer Services team is involved at an early stage in the process of product development, taking the perspective of future buyers. Even in this early phase, a service concept defining all aspects from maintenance intervals and training through to spare parts storage is worked out together with the customer.

In this way, long-term use of the company’s increasingly complex technical solutions is ensured in a routine and professional manner, at calculable cost for the customer. However, alarm bells start ringing when something does not work as it should. That is when HENSOLDT’s Global Field Service comes into play, jumping into action to support customers all over the world. Service employees travel to the most remote places on earth at short notice. Always with the necessary materials in their luggage, provided this is possible within this time frame given export and customs requirements.

When theory becomes practice

Simulation Solutions proves that breaking new ground is now practically routine practice for Customer Services. An independent business model with significant growth potential has developed from the customer service provided for simulators of the former EADS business unit. This is demonstrated by the fact that HENSOLDT provides train simulation solutions for train drivers in Germany, Italy and India, for instance. And in the defence area, as well, demand for simulators is rising due to ever more challenging operational requirements in relation to increasingly complex technology. In this context, HENSOLDT is currently developing training simulators for its radars, naturally with Customer Services at the helm.

Long-term success

Not only do customers appreciate our Customer Services portfolio, but it also increases their loyalty to the company. And the often long-term nature of our contracts ensure foreseeable and profitable sales.

With service centres around the world, HENSOLDT’s Customer Services team supports several hundred direct customers. Following the acquisition of an Australian service provider in 2019 – which now operates as HENSOLDT Australia and is active in the APAC region – there are hardly any blank spots left on HENSOLDT’s global service map.

Temur Karbassioun (Head of Customer Services) and Peter Schlote (Chief Operating Officer)

Service team on deployment worldwide

HENSOLDT’s Global Field Service impressively demonstrated its effectiveness during a mission in Chile. The client, an aerospace and defence contractor, had encountered an issue while equipping a ship for the Chilean Navy and got in touch immediately. This was the beginning of an eventful week for the HENSOLDT team.

After carrying out initial remote diagnostics, the team collected any parts that might have been needed and requested the necessary documents for customs and export clearance. Although a complicated and bureaucratic process, this was still completed within three days. The team set off with the parts, reaching the site in Chile after a 30-hour trip – just four days after the initial contact.

The technicians specially trained in the product – a TRS-4D ROT radar in this instance – got to work. On-site analysis proved that the cooling system was not working properly. After this had been dismantled, repaired and remounted on site, the final check showed that the radar was working perfectly again. Less than one week after the initial call, the employees were back at their home site in Kiel and able to report: problem solved.

Sales - from a product supplier to a solution provider


HENSOLDT has been very well positioned to date with its product and regional sales set-ups. With ever-greater demand for comprehensive offerings, however, a new additional ‘domain account’ structure has been put in place to specifically look for and offer solutions spanning multiple business units and divisions.

This approach is based on customers’ growing need for overall solutions that address capability gaps. For this, different platform and mission requirements must be analysed, independent of products, and possible solution concepts developed. Only then does HENSOLDT select the various products for its offering. This allows the company to tap into new sales opportunities by also offering additional sensors, datalinks or products as an overall solution in combination with individual radars or cameras, for example.

One team – one mission – one goal

In the era of globalisation and with increasingly complex products and solutions, a good sales operation needs a 360-degree view of its customers. For example, if the builder of a navy ship orders a radar for its new frigate, it is entirely possible that it may also be interested in other products – from various sensors for monitoring the surroundings and laser or radar warning systems through to state-of-the-art navigation technology. Customers are increasingly focusing on solutions that help to close capability gaps. Self-defence, for example, calls for not only sensors for detecting threats, but also other components that can be used to take and manage countermeasures, some of which can also be offered by HENSOLDT. Take, for instance, radar detection of a target, which is visually identified as a threat via camera and neutralised by means of a countermeasure with the aid of a datalink. An integrated overall solution, made up of individual products, offers real added value in such scenarios. The same holds for projects such as the Future Combat Air System, which is focused from the outset on the strategic interplay of different systems.

And precisely this solution-oriented approach is now being pursued at HENSOLDT by its sales areas: Space, Air, Sea, Land, Security, Cyber and Services. With a small, competent team that can be temporarily expanded as needed to include specialists from Product Sales or even Engineering, for example, they can respond to the particulars of any customer request. The new domain sales approach is very promising as HENSOLDT’s overall portfolio with solutions from all four divisions reveals untapped opportunities and the potential for developing new market segments. At the same time, this new approach also allows for the adoption of a market-driven strategy and alignment of the entire portfolio on a cross-divisional basis – additionally supported by Communications having now been reorganised along domain lines as well.

Focus on the customer at all times

The new domain structure was unveiled to the public at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London in September 2019. For the first time, HENSOLDT showcased itself there with a stand that no longer focused on individual products, but on the company’s overall domain competence covering land, sea, air and space as well as cyberspace, services and security applications.

And this is increasingly what partners and customers want. In addition to its competence as a product supplier, HENSOLDT is now able to position itself as a solutions provider covering all aspects of defence and security projects.

Stefan Jock (Head of Domain Accounts & Sales) and Sabine Hipp (Head of Sales & Marketing)

Eurofighter - opportunity of the century


Having assumed responsibility for the new Eurofighter radar system, a new era begins for HENSOLDT as a system provider. This represents a huge business opportunity – in terms of future orders, as well.

The CAPTOR-M radar with mechanically scanned antenna, as used in various versions in the Eurofighter, is already based on HENSOLDT technology and has been praised by pilots as particularly powerful. Now that a stage has been reached where it cannot be developed any further, it is being replaced by a radar with electronic beam scanning: the CAPTOR-E. With its more than 1,400 transmit-and-receive modules integrated directly into the antenna, it can perform several tasks simultaneously, such as ground surveillance, target tracking and missile guidance, thus significantly enhancing the Eurofighter’s performance.

For the CAPTOR-E, HENSOLDT produces the antenna with the transmit-and-receive modules as well as parts of the processor, receiver and software. In addition, the company expects to start development of the future Eurofighter Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk1, which would offer even more possibilities thanks to its multi-channel reception capability. If the project, which is currently under consideration by the participating states Germany and Spain, goes ahead, this would also open up new operational roles for the aircraft, especially in air-to-ground reconnaissance. For the ECRS Mk1, HENSOLDT would not just be supplying subsystems within the Euroradar consortium, but will also be responsible for the entire system design for the first time.

60 years of fighter radars from HENSOLDT

High requirements

Fighter aircraft radar systems have been one of HENSOLDT’s core areas since the 1960s, alongside ground and naval systems, and have been relied upon by Starfighter, Tornado, Phantom and Eurofighter pilots. Consequently, assuming overall system design responsibility for the new Eurofighter radar is the logical next step for HENSOLDT in view of its comprehensive radar expertise.

In addition to developing and supplying components for the CAPTOR-E radar, HENSOLDT expects to be tasked in the future with defining, coordinating and verifying interfaces to the fighter aircraft’s new overall system in connection with the ECRS Mk1 radar. Added to these will be integration, the development of software-based extensions to the radar functionality and certification issues. Thus, if approved, the next Eurofighter radar ECRS Mk1 would be a HENSOLDT system in its entirety.

Practical changes

This enormous responsibility goes hand in hand with a fundamental change that runs through many areas of the company. Even in the bidding phase, teams from a wide variety of areas worked together across the board, sometimes using newly introduced agile methods. In the future, harmonious cooperation between product management, system architecture and agile software development teams should be established and extended to hardware development, wherever possible.

The CAPTOR-E and Mk1 projects would also bring about numerous changes at HENSOLDT’s Ulm site, as more than 5,000 square metres of floor space would be required, well over half of which would have to be designated a restricted area. And the number of employees working on this project, currently around 165, would almost double in the coming years.

New business opportunities

However, this investment in the future is worthwhile, securing highly valuable development and production orders of CAPTOR-E.

And that is just the beginning. With system design responsibility for the ECRS Mk1, HENSOLDT might be getting the chance to become a system provider for fighter radar systems in the medium term. Potentially not just for the Eurofighter, but future flying platforms as well.

Dr. Thomas Buro (Head of Eurofighter Radar)

FCAS - achieving air superiority in the cloud


The Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is currently being defined, will take Europe’s aerial warfare capabilities to a new level from 2040. In this gigantic project for the future, HENSOLDT aims to contribute its visions as a developer of new products and skills.

Germany, France and Spain already agree: Europe should get a sixth-generation combat aircraft, the Next Generation Fighter (NGF). Like the existing Eurofighter and Rafale weapon systems, the NGF is to be networked with other units in the air and on the ground via a combat cloud. And that is just the beginning, because the data from sensors, effectors and manned and unmanned aircraft should also merge in the cloud to form a common system of systems. With a service life of at least several decades, FCAS is regarded as one of Europe’s largest and most comprehensive future projects in the world of defence.

Thinking outside the box

Data (including its transmission and use) and the information superiority ensured by it are a core element of HENSOLDT’s entire portfolio. The increasing importance of data is reflected by the company’s creation of a new ‘Domain’ level for the development of future solutions across multiple products and divisions in the following application areas (domains): Air, Land, Sea, Security and Others (including Space, Cyberspace and Services). After all, data still has value beyond its use for individual weapon systems and products.

This fits perfectly with FCAS, because all of its systems will and must work together. Not just ‘in the air’, but also in the Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) (see chapter HENSOLDT provides solutions: MAWS – when frigates learn to fly) and the planned Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) (see chapter HENSOLDT provides solutions: MGCS – armoured intelligence).

To help develop the overall architecture for this mission and command & control system, the FCMS consortium has been established among the German companies HENSOLDT, ESG, Diehl Defence and Rohde & Schwarz. In the future, after all, it is not the systems that will have to adapt to products and platforms, but the other way around. In the case of FCAS, for example, this means that fighter aircraft, combat helicopters and drones will have to adapt to the all-encompassing Future Combat Mission System.

Interdisciplinary potential

Overall, it is estimated that FCAS will involve an investment volume of approximately 300 billion euros over its entire lifecycle. In addition to the system architecture, the NGF, which is to replace the Eurofighter and Rafale, will create additional business opportunities for HENSOLDT’s radar, electronic warfare and avionics units. And the drones of tomorrow will also need radar, optronics and avionics equipment.

HENSOLDT is participating as a national sensor house in one of seven German ‘lead industries’ in a concept study that is currently being prepared for the future operational structure and equipment requirements. The first fighter aircraft, drone, sensor system and combat cloud demonstrators are set to be developed from 2021 and will then be tested in a new simulation laboratory. In the team: HENSOLDT.

Ready for tomorrow

During the Timber Express air force exercise, HENSOLDT was able to impressively demonstrate the possibilities that are opened up by combining data from different systems. In the presence of high-ranking representatives of the Bundeswehr, the German procurement authority BAAINBw and other allied forces, Bundeswehr helicopters connected directly to NATO’s tactical data link network (Link 16) via HENSOLDT’s Optarion operations support system. The upgrade for the EuroNav 7 helicopter navigation system, which was also presented, enabled tactical information to be exchanged between several helicopters and with Navy and Air Force networks. Such a tactical advantage should ensure that this equipment is soon included as a matter of course.

MGCS - armoured intelligence


With the planned Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), a modern main battle tank with numerous assistance systems is to be created by 2035 as an intelligently networked ground combat centre. This system will offer numerous areas of interest for HENSOLDT’s product portfolio.

Tanks were once relatively sluggish and rigid vehicles, comparable to heavy cavalry. This will not be the case with the new battle tank that Germany is planning to develop together with France over the coming years. As the successor to the German Leopard 2 and its French counterpart the Leclerc, it is set to revolutionise ground combat with state-of-the-art technology from 2035. Germany and France have already signed a joint declaration of intent. The framework agreement is expected to be concluded in spring 2020, the first functional models are to be produced by 2025 and prototypes are to be designed by 2035, followed by the implementation phase.

High-tech support

As an established partner to the German and French armed forces, HENSOLDT can support the project in almost all electronic, sensory and optronics areas with technologies that already exist or are currently being developed.

HENSOLDT’s day and night vision devices in combination with its proven radars can provide the necessary information to reliably detect targets. Thanks to this information and the data from networked, autonomously operating drones, crews can obtain a comprehensive overview of their surroundings, especially as the VADR drone developed by HENSOLDT’s subsidiary EuroAvionics can be equipped with special HD cameras and laser mapping functions, both individually and in a swarm, allowing it to monitor the entire theatre; moreover, its jammers can also disrupt enemy drones. All available sensor information can be filtered by assistance systems and presented to the user in a virtual 360° environment. Together with multi-purpose jammers and missile, radar and laser warning systems installed in the vehicle, all from HENSOLDT’s own portfolio, these features can increase crew safety.

Moreover, data can help the driver navigate, even without GPS thanks to the SETAS system developed by HENSOLDT – right up to autonomous driving.

HENSOLDT’s portfolio also includes secure and proven laser communication systems for exchanging data with the command and control centre and other units on the ground, at sea, in the air and in space and for communication between individual vehicles via an autonomous relay drone.

Secured by HENSOLDT’s cyberprotection for hardware and software, an overall system can thus be created that brings all of the necessary data and information together. For example, this allows indirect engagement of targets, where one tank locates the target while it is being engaged from a different position. Artificial intelligence supports crews in evaluating the current situation and offers strategic suggestions.

Business potential

This means that there are many opportunities for HENSOLDT. In fact, the new MGCS battle tank may eventually not just be deployed by Germany and France, but Poland and Scandinavia have also shown an interest. And other countries may follow. HENSOLDT will thus vigorously promote its participation in the project in the coming years.

Current status

The Franco-German MGCS defence project has been running since 2012. It aims to develop the first joint battle tank to replace the Leopard 2 and the Leclerc. On the industrial side, Germany will take the leading role. Those predominantly involved include KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS), headquartered in Amsterdam (Netherlands) – created from defence companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) from Germany and state-owned Nexter Systems from France, which merged in spring 2015 – as well as German defence group Rheinmetall. The project is also being supported by the French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL). Further consultations are currently underway.

MAWS - when frigates learn to fly


In the future Franco-German Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS) project, system capabilities are more important than flight characteristics for the first time.

The German Navy’s P-3C Orion, designed for anti-submarine warfare, made its first flight in 1959. The Breguet Atlantic 2, used by the French Navy for maritime reconnaissance, first took off in 1961. Both will reach the end of their service life by 2035 at the latest. Their successor is to be a new, joint Maritime Airborne Warfare System. As a first in the history of military aviation, the process will not be started by aircraft manufacturers developing designs for a new platform, but by a consortium of military system providers defining the overall weapon system requirements, deriving the platform definition in consequence. HENSOLDT, as part of a consortium, submitted a proposal for a joint feasibility study. The contract for this study is expected to be awarded in the second half of 2020.

Maritime all-rounder

In 2018, French procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) and the German Ministry of Defence decided to jointly develop a new maritime patrol aircraft. It was clear from the outset that this new MAWS would also have state-of-the-art capabilities in anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare and would also serve as a command post above the high seas. The catalogue of requirements and multitude of required features were so comprehensive that the MAWS quickly earned the nickname ‘flying frigate’.

The clients recognised the importance of the architecture of the integrated combat system, which is why the above-mentioned consortium of four system providers was invited to make a proposal for carrying out the feasibility study.

The big picture

If the feasibility study contract is won, HENSOLDT, together with ESG, Diehl Defence and Thales, its three partners in the consortium, will work on the future requirements over the next two years with a core team in Paris. In addition to the architecture of the warfare system, the focus is also on selecting suitable aircraft platforms and manufacturers. As with the Future Combat Air System (see chapter HENSOLDT provides solutions: FCAS – achieving air superiority in the cloud), the planned comprehensive exchange of data with other branches of the armed forces will also play a decisive role here.

Go, HENSOLDT GO!


‘Wave 2’, the second phase in the HENSOLDT GO! transformation programme, is in full swing. Its overarching goal: cross-functional optimisation of all areas through even closer cooperation.

Alexander Dahm (Head of HENSOLDT Go! & Transformation)

From a business unit of a large corporation to an independent company in international competition – HENSOLDT has managed to successfully negotiate this transition within a very short space of time. The HENSOLDT GO! transformation programme set out the action areas and objectives for this. Processes, workflows and the entire corporate culture have undergone a profound process of change. Core areas such as Procurement, Production and Engineering have been optimised, workflows have been redefined, and efficiency has been increased on a sustained basis. The success of these measures is evidenced not only by figures, but also by the employees’ new entrepreneurial way of thinking and acting.

And the transformation continues. With Wave 2 of HENSOLDT GO!, the aim is to maintain the momentum from Wave 1 in terms of growth, innovation and competitiveness.

Dynamic supply chain management

Innovation cycles and product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter, and companies need to keep developing and improving in order to secure their long-term survival. HENSOLDT is meeting this challenge with cultural change encompassing all departments and units.

By introducing company-wide, cross-functional supply chain management that incorporates suppliers, internal processes and customer requirements, HENSOLDT is looking to optimise the flow of information, materials and money. The dynamic interaction of the different parts of the supply chain that has been required due to the reduced vertical integration of production and the increasing division of labour makes all the difference. The focus is on dynamically coupling divisional sales and project management, including customer service and sourcing, with current production plans in order to avoid waste and inefficiencies to the greatest possible extent.

This approach, which has long proven itself in parts of the industry, will now make management of the numerous ongoing projects at HENSOLDT much more efficient while further accelerating cooperation between the different functions.

After all, working together to create an optimal, lean process is the basis for implementing digital, integrated supply chain management.

Building competence and efficiency

Another focal point is the implementation of measures aimed at promoting development and engineering excellence and optimising production and inventory coverage.

For example, cross-divisional coordination in R&T and R&D not only provides the necessary flexibility, but also allows basic principles for further product development to be jointly established and resources to be optimally used.

A culture of continuous improvement is being established with the goal of making the entire company faster and more agile and efficient. Goodbye, silo mentality – hello, comprehensive optimisation.

Like clockwork

Management understands fully that Rome was not built in a day. Rather, managers and every single employee are called upon to effect the transformation each day anew. Changes must not merely be cascaded down the hierarchical ladder, but must also be actively promoted and embedded within the company in a bottom-up approach.

The organisational optimisations already launched form the basis for long-term internal cooperation between all units. This will ensure that everything meshes smoothly, like clockwork, and that we can get the most out of this for HENSOLDT together.