Leonardo-Finmeccanica to help Japan Ground Self Defense Force distinguish friend from foe with new Mode 5 IFF system

Leonardo-Finmeccanica will provide the latest Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) technology for Japan Ground Self Defense Force.

Farnborough   12 July 2016 13:41

  • The IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system will provide radar operators with the ability to distinguish between allied forces and potential threats, helping avoid ‘friendly fire’
  • A leader in IFF technology, Leonardo-Finmeccanica provides such equipment for major platforms worldwide including the Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen E 
  • Leonardo-Finmeccanica will be the first non-US company to provide a Mode 5 IFF solution for a radar program to the Japan Ministry of Defense


Farnborough, 12 July 2016 – Leonardo-Finmeccanica will provide the latest Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) technology for Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF). The deal, signed with a Japanese prime contractor, will see Leonardo supplying its SIT-422/5J interrogator for the JGSDF


An IFF system allows troops to distinguish between ‘friendly’ vehicles and potential threats by sending out an interrogation signal and verifying the responses received. In this context, Japan’s radars will be used to monitor the skies for aircraft and will use Leonardo’s SIT-422/5J to send out the ‘interrogation’ signal to see if the targets are affiliated forces or possible foes. Leonardo is a global leader in IFF, providing equipment for a number of ground and air-based platforms including the new Saab Gripen E jet, which carries the company’s Mode-5 technology.


Most recently, Leonardo demonstrated a new Mode 5 ‘Reverse-IFF’ capability with Italian Typhoon jets, allowing the aircraft to conduct air-to-ground IFF scanning.


The company will partner with a prime contractor in Japan to deliver the technology and will provide the necessary support to enable in-country service-level maintenance of the equipment. 


SIT-422/5J is latest-generation technology developed for IFF and, as such, includes all modern modes and complies with the latest international standards. It includes a Selective Identification Feature (SIF), Mode C, Mode S, Mode 4 and the new Mode 5. Mode 5 is the most advanced military-only identification mode, which modifies and addresses known shortcomings of the legacy Mode 4 systems. 


Notably, the SIT-422/5J interrogator system is based on ‘external crypto appliqué technology’, meaning that the crypto element of the system (which provides secure encryption of the IFF signal) is a separate unit that can be removed and securely stored as needed. This makes the system compliant with DoD-AIMS 04-900A option B