BAE Systems has received certification from the U.S. Department of Defense AIMS program office for its Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) transponder to be used on the F-22 Raptor aircraft. The integration of this transponder is part of a U.S. Navy contract to upgrade the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) terminal for the U.S. Air Force.
BAE Systems’ F-22 IFF transponder features a multi-channel subsystem that 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. IFF systems 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 unmanned aerial vehicles, ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters.
The MIDS JTRS terminal is a Data Link Solutions product produced through a partnership between BAE Systems and Collins Aerospace. The system 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. The MIDS JTRS terminal is currently in production and undergoing ground and flight testing on-board the F-22 aircraft in preparation for platform-level certification.
Certifying Mode 5 Level 2 capability in the IFF transponder is a necessary step on the path to platform-level AIMS and Federal Aviation Administration certification. The AIMS program office ensures interoperability of IFF systems used by the U.S. and allied forces.
Donna Linke-Klein, director of Tactical Systems at BAE Systems, commented: “This is BAE Systems’ first IFF system on a fifth-generation fighter jet. This certification is an important milestone for our MIDS JTRS offering and an incredible achievement for our employees and customers.”