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Raytheon and Hanwha Systems have signed a technical cooperation agreement to produce Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Mode 5 systems for the Korean military, the companies announced on 10 September.

Mode 5 IFF systems allow operators to positively identify friendly aircraft using a secure, encrypted code, reducing the potential for fratricide and increasing situational awareness.

"Our Mode 5 IFF solutions help lift the fog of combat," commented Barbara Borgonovi, Vice President of Raytheon Integrated Communication Systems. "Cluttered airspace, crowded battlefields and uncertain seas characterise today's operational environment. We are providing the latest technology that gives coalition forces the ability to distinguish between friend and foe with absolute certainty in the midst of these challenging conditions."

Under the agreement, Raytheon will provide its IFF technology and industry-leading expertise while Hanwha Systems will oversee domestic production.

To reduce the risk of ‘friendly fire’ incidents and to enhance system security, coalition nations are moving to a new version of IFF called Mode 5. The new technology extends the range of Mode 4 and upgrades the signalling waveforms, making communications faster and more secure. Mode 4 – in service since the 1960s – uses signals similar to Morse code, while Mode 5's sophisticated modulation techniques will change its codes every few seconds to ensure rapid identification.

For more than 70 years, Raytheon has been a leader in IFF systems. Together with its global partners, Raytheon has delivered, installed and maintained more than 130,000 IFF systems on over 120 different types aircraft, ships and land vehicles worldwide.

The Mode 5 IFF systems will be installed on a wide range of in-service platforms in the South Korean military. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

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