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GREENLAWN, New York — BAE Systems has received National Security Agency (NSA) Mode 5 certification for three of its identification friend or foe (IFF) products. BAE Systems is the first Department of Defense contractor to receive the certification.

IFF enables forces to recognize friendly aircraft and surface vessels to avoid inadvertent firing on friendly forces. The technology, in use since World War II, has two main components: interrogators, which ask the questions, and transponders, which provide the responses. The Mode 5 IFF system was developed by NATO as an enhancement to older, less capable IFF systems.

The NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate certified three BAE Systems IFF systems — the AN/UPX-41(C) Digital Interrogator, RT-1912(C)/APX Common IFF Digital Transponder, and RT-1918(C)/APX MIDS Compatible Transponder — for full encryption of Mode 5 interrogations and replies that enable authentication and data confidentiality.

Mode 5 employs secure message formats and data transmission that increase identification capability and allow U.S. and coalition forces to operate together while maintaining security and reducing fratricide. The system permits identification of friendly forces well beyond a pilot’s visual range.

“Mode 5 certification is a major milestone in IFF development,” said Paul Markwardt, BAE Systems vice president and general manager for Identification and Situational Awareness at Greenlawn, N.Y. “It allows BAE Systems to provide an enhanced product to further protect the warfighter.”

The Mode 5 enhancements include improved algorithms, increased security, and improved key management, interoperability, and supportability. BAE Systems is under contract with the U.S. Navy and Army for low-rate initial production of Mode 5 systems and installation on shipboard and airborne platforms. Deliveries over the next five years could exceed 5,000 units.

About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is the premier trans-Atlantic defense and aerospace company, delivering a full range of products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions, and customer support services. BAE Systems, with 88,000 employees worldwide, had 2005 sales that exceeded $22 billion, excluding the group's former interest in Airbus.

For more information, please contact:
James Mallon, BAE Systems
Tell: +1 973-633-4385 Mobile: +1 862-228-4273

Shannon Smith, BAE Systems
Tel: +1 703-907-8257 Mobile: +1 703-967-3854

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