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The US DoD AIMS office, which ensures interoperability of identification friend or foe (IFF) systems used by US and allied forces, has certified the BAE Systems IFF transponder the company has developed for the F-22 RAPTOR. The transponder waveform integration is part of a US Navy contract to upgrade the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) terminal for the US Air Force.

BAE Systems’ F-22 IFF transponder is integrated with a multi-channel subsystem, which is compliant with the new Mode 5 cryptographic standard and programmable with software, rather than hardware. It is also compatible with the aircraft’s avionics equipment, which uses Link 16 and tactical air navigation system waveforms.

This is BAE Systems’ first IFF system on a fifth-generation fighter jet,” observed Donna Linke-Klein, Director of Tactical Systems at BAE Systems. “This certification is an important milestone for our MIDS JTRS offering.” Certifying Mode 5 Level 2 capability in this transponder is a necessary step on the path to platform-level AIMS and FAA certification. The MIDS JTRS terminal with IFF transponder is in production and undergoing ground and flight testing in preparation for platform-level certification. Operational release to the fleet is planned for 2021.

The MIDS JTRS terminal is a Data Link Solutions product produced through a joint venture of BAE Systems and Collins Aerospace. MIDS JTRS is a four-channel radio that runs the complex Link 16 waveform plus up to three more communication protocols, including the Tactical Targeting Network Technology. The terminal can also host and provide computer processing to run routing and platform-specific applications, lowering the costs of integration.

With over 75 years’ IFF experience, BAE Systems has delivered more than 15,500 transponders, 1,500 interrogators, and 6,000 combined interrogator/transponder systems. IFF products enable warfighters to identify friendly forces and make informed decisions in a variety of threat environments. They can be used on existing, new, and emerging platforms, including UAS, ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters.

The IFF transponder for the F-22 is compatible with the new Mode 5 cryptographic standard. (Photo via BAE Systems)

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