General Dynamics To Supply Air Force With "Friend or Foe" Cryptographic Modules For Combat ID

Cryptographic technology is applicable to other combat identification systems, reducing the overall risk of combat fratricide

September 22, 2009

2 Min Read


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. " General Dynamics C4 Systems has received a $37 million contract to supply the U.S. Air Force with Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Mode 5 (KIV-78) cryptographic modules and spare parts. The IFF cryptographic modules enable precise identification of 'friendly' aircraft by ships, ground forces and other aircraft operating in increasingly large and crowded battlespaces. Deliveries from the five-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract begin in May 2010; the initial delivery order is valued at approximately $3.5 million. The Air Force Cryptologic Systems Group is the contracting authority.

The KIV-78 modules are part of the Mark XIIA Identification Friend or Foe system, which is currently used by the Air Force and the Navy. The Mark XIIA system works alongside other U.S. military force-protection systems including Blue Force Tracking and Battlefield Combat Identification Systems.

John Cole, vice president of Information Assurance for General Dynamics C4 Systems, said, "The General Dynamics IFF modules are the only ones that can function as both an IFF transponder and interrogator simultaneously, significantly enhancing warfighter safety and force protection."

The encryption technology used in the IFF system is part of the General Dynamics "Family of Advanced Core Cryptographic Technologies" (FAC2T). FAC2T is a broad offering of embeddable cryptographic technologies that address a variety of military and government requirements for high-assurance, low-power, small-size, multiple-level, wireless, high-speed communications information-security solutions.

General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), is a leading integrator of secure communication and information systems and technology.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,000 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available online at

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