Raytheon and Thales prove system capability for UK MOD Mode 5 IFF

Raytheon UK and Thales UK have successfully conducted over-the-air Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interoperability trials at Raytheon's Matching Green test range. The trials in early December 2012 used Thales' TSA1412 Interrogator and Raytheon UK's IFF4810 Transponder, which is the standard fit SIFF (Successor IFF) product, featuring the Mode 5 enabled upgrade. Being more cryptographically secure than its predecessors, the Mode 5 system counters exploitation and deception while delivering resistance to Electronic Counter Measures (ECM). The Thales and Raytheon equipment were fitted with Raytheon US KIV-77 Mode 5 Cryptocomputers.

Richard Daniel, managing director, Raytheon UK's defence business, commented: "Raytheon has invested in developing the Mode 5 upgrades for existing equipment, and Thales has Mode 5-qualified equipment already in service with French and other NATO armed forces. By teaming, we exploit the complementary strengths of both companies to minimise platform integration risks for Mode 5, and believe we offer the Ministry of Defence the best possible value for money. 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."

Victor Chavez, CEO, Thales UK, said: "IFF Mode 5 is an important programme enabling future interoperability for the UK in NATO coalition operations. Both Thales and Raytheon have cutting edge capability in this area and by working together we would provide the UK MOD with a world leading IFF solution."

The two companies signed a teaming agreement in July 2012 to pursue the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) procurement of the next generation NATO interoperable Mode 5 IFF system. IFF is an electronic 'question and answer' system fitted to aircraft, ships and missile air defence systems allowing them to discriminate between friendly and hostile forces, and is a fundamental requirement of both NATO and British defence policy.

The team's delivery strategy for Mode 5 builds upon the successful SIFF model where Raytheon delivered the capability within budget and on or ahead of schedule. Raytheon's established SIFF support infrastructure, in service for 8 years, is proven in the upgrade to Mode S and facilitates the upgrade to Mode 5, through the majority of SIFF equipment and platform installations delivered being Mode 5-ready. A low-risk upgrade and minimal platform integration are required to affordably enable '5' functionality.

Both Raytheon and Thales Mode 5 IFF Interrogator and Transponder subsystems use a common US-sourced KIV-77 Mode 4/5 cryptographic computer, manufactured and supplied to the US armed forces by Raytheon's Advanced Communications and Countermeasures (ACC) in Aberdeen, Md. ACC is part of Raytheon's Network Centric Systems business.

The team is targeting full compatibility with NATO and civil international standards. In 2010, the Thales Mode 5 IFF equipment successfully passed US Navy Naval Air Systems Command interoperability tests; in 2012 Thales Mode 5 IFF equipment was successfully certified to AIMS standards.

Source: Raytheon Corporation (NYSE: RTN)
Date: Feb 26, 2013