Identification-Friend-or-Foe (IFF) systems are vital to both civilian and military users, since they are capable of sorting through many different aircraft, ground vehicles, and troops to guard against enemy forces and prevent firing upon friendly troops. One major contractor, BAE Systems, recently established itself as one of the leading suppliers of IFF hardware by delivering the 150th OE-120 IFF antenna to the Navy.
The antenna (see figure) helps identify aircraft and maritime vessels and supports naval air-traffic-management systems for both IFF and secondary surveillance radar systems. The antenna is mounted on about 150 U.S. and allied ships around the world, including aircraft carriers and frigates.
“Our employees come to work each day knowing that what they do matters and aligns with our mission,” said Dave Logan, vice president and general manager of C4ISR Systems at BAE Systems. “This team has successfully delivered the OE-120 antenna for more than 30 years, offering navies around the world constant fleet protection.”
Originally designed to support the Aegis Combat System, the OE-120 antenna is the only electronically scanned IFF antenna used by the Navy. It accommodates all standard IFF modes for a wide range of mission requirements and enables instantaneous identification of multiple targets. “With this product, BAE Systems delivers more than just hardware,” noted Captain Joseph Hornbuckle, Naval Air Traffic Management Systems program manager. “It delivers coherent capabilities to our team.”
BAE brings a long history of IFF component and system design and development, and has delivered more than 13,000 transponders, 1,000 interrogators, and 4,500 combined interrogator/transponder systems. The IFF antenna is part of that long technology history, and has delivered reliable long-term performance in all of its applications. “[BAE’s] service to the fleet for almost four decades is a true testament to the product’s artisanship,” said Hornbuckle.