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Typhoon in Reverse-IFF system demo

26th April 2016 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


An industry-government team has demonstrated an air-to-ground Mode 5 Reverse Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) capability integrated on an Italian Typhoon, Finmeccanica announced on 22 April.

The demonstration saw a Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoon simulate a Close Air Support mission, flying toward and interrogating a number of Italian Army Lince armoured vehicles with its integrated reverse-IFF system. The Lince vehicles returned ‘friendly’ signals, indicating to the Typhoon to hold off from deploying its weaponry.

IFF systems give pilots the ability to distinguish between friendly and enemy platforms. It works by sending out an interrogation signal and verifying the responses it receives back. 

A reverse-IFF system uses the same concept to interrogate ground forces, allowing a pilot to understand where surface-level friendly forces are located before deciding whether to use weaponry. The system is called ‘reverse’ IFF because the aircraft uses its transponder, usually used to reply to interrogations from other aircraft or from the ground, to scan the ground vehicles. 

This demonstration shows that it is possible to introduce the capability in a simple, low-impact fashion using the aircraft’s existing transponder. 

NATO is considering the Mode 5 Reverse-IFF system as one of the possible short-to-mid-term solutions for air-to-surface identification, to avoid friendly fire when cooperating with coalition forces. NATO representatives witnessed the demonstration at Italy’s Official Test Center in Pratica di Mare near Rome. 

The Shephard News Team


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