Leonardo-Finmeccanica has been contracted to supply an identification friend or foe (IFF) system for the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF).

The company will deliver the SIT-422/5J interrogator for the JGSDF, as part of a deal signed with a Japanese prime contractor.

Japanese radars will use SIT-422/5J to send an ‘interrogation’ signal that verifies if aircraft are allied forces or possible adversaries.

Based on external crypto appliqué technology, the SIT-422/5J interrogator system is compliant with DoD-AIMS 04-900A option B and other international standards.

The system's crypto element provides secure encryption of the IFF signal, and can be removed and stored as needed, Leonardo said in a statement.

The IFF includes a selective identification feature (SIF), as well as Mode C, Mode S, Mode 4 and new Mode 5 technology.

Leonardo recently demonstrated the system's Mode 5 Reverse-IFF capability, which is the most advanced military-only identification mode to modify and address known flaws of the legacy Mode 4 systems.

"Japanese radars will use SIT-422/5J to send an ‘interrogation’ signal that verifies if aircraft are allied forces or possible adversaries."

The Mode 5 trials were carried out by allowing Italian Typhoon jets to conduct air-to-ground IFF scanning.

In a separate development, Leonardo-led Team Skytale has been selected by the UK Ministry of Defence as the preferred bidder to upgrade IFF systems on more than 400 operational aircraft, naval vessels and ground-based air defence systems in the UK.

The air, naval and ground-based platforms will be upgraded with new Mode 5 technology by 2020.

Team Skytale also comprises Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security.

Image: Using IFF system radar operators will be able to distinguish between allied forces and potential threats. Photo: courtesy of Leonardo-Finmeccanica.