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Identification Friend or Foe
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The deployment of modern, high precision weapon systems and their effectiveness depend to a large degree on a timely and accurate identification of all targets both friendly and hostile. This presentation introduces the basic concepts and operations of the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems currently deployed in major US and NATO combatants. The directly related commercial aircraft identification equipment is the Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System (ATCRBS) or the Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR). These two systems share the same operating philosophy, waveforms, and frequencies.
1937, radio recognition identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system, the Model XAE, which met an urgent operational requirement to allow discrimination of friendly units from enemy units.
1958, the FAA had established the Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System (ATCRBS), which is essentially the civilian version of the Mark X. The International Civil Air Organization later adopted the ATCRBS, making the Mark X the basis of the world's air traffic control system.
1960, It was the first IFF system to use cryptographic techniques to prevent deception where an enemy appears as a friend by using a captured transponder.
What is IFF?
is a cryptographic identification systemdesigned for command and control, that enables military, and national interrogation systems to distinguish friendly aircrafts, vehicles or forces, and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator.
Modern IFF systems are basically Question/Answer systems.
How does IFF work?
This is a typical example of an air traffic control IFF response.The aircraft was told to squawk a four digit number such as "4732". The altitude encoded transponder provides the aircraft altitude readout to the ground controllers display along with the coded response identifying that particular aircraft.
Modes of operation:
IIF can be classified into 5 modes of operation:
Mode 1: which has 64 reply codes, is used in
military air traffic control to determine what
type of aircraft is answering or what type of
mission it is on.
Mode 2: also only for military use, requests the "tail number" that identifies a particular aircraft. There are 4096 possible reply codes in this mode.
Mode 3/A: is the standard air traffic control
mode. It is used internationally, in conjunction
with the automatic altitude reporting mode
Mode C: to provide positive control of all
aircraft flying under instrument flight rules.
Mode 4: provides a 3-pulse reply (dependent
upon a valid 32-bit crypto coded challenge),