The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Mode 5 Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) system has been tested by Raytheon and Thales to demonstrate interoperability over-the-air at Matching Green test range.
During trials, the team used Mode 5 enabled upgrade of standard fit Successor IFF (SIFF) system, comprising Thales’ TSA1412 Interrogator and Raytheon UK’s IFF4810 Transponder and validated its system capabilities.
The Mode 5 system is more cryptographically secure than its predecessors and provides electronic counter measures (ECM) resistance, while countering exploitation and deception.
Raytheon UK defence business managing director Richard Daniel said the company has developed the Mode 5 upgrades for existing equipment, while Thales’ Mode 5-qualified equipments are already operational with French and other Nato forces.
"Together, we would seek to ensure maximum continuity of operational availability by applying our already successful front-line support model during the transition to Mode 5," Daniel added.
Thales UK CEO Victor Chavez said that the IFF Mode 5 programme is for enabling future interoperability for the UK in Nato coalition operations.
In July 2012, the two companies partnered to seek UK MoD procurement of the Nato interoperable next-generation Mode 5 IFF system.
An electronic ‘question and answer’ system, IFF can be integrated onboard ships, submarines, aircraft and missile air defence systems to enable differentiation between friendly and hostile forces, which is considered Nato and UK defence policy’s fundamental requirement.
The UK MoD Mode 5 procurement follows the Raytheon’s Successor Identification Friend or Foe (SIFF) programme, which is currently in-service onboard more than 1,000 UK MoD’s ships, submarines, aircraft, helicopters and missile systems.
The Thales Mode 5 IFF equipment has demonstrated its interoperability in 2010 for the US Navy Naval Air Systems Command and was certified to AIMS standards in 2012.
Image: A technical sergeant uses the Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) camera to connect to a transponder. Photo: courtesy of SRA Michele G Misiano, USAF.