The US Navy has awarded a $20m contract to BAE Systems to provide technology to identify aircraft and ships as friendly forces.

Under the Naval Air Systems Command contract modification the company will deliver a total of 46 AN/APX-118 common digital transponders and 381 AN/APX-123 transponders to the navy and army including 400 modification kits and spares.

The identification friend or foe (IFF) digital transponders system enhances situational awareness and establishes the positive identity of friendly forces thereby reducing the risk of friendly fire.

The IFF technology can be installed on surface and subsurface vessels, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

The work will be carried out in New York and is expected to be complete by December 2011.