Leonardo has signed a contract, valued at approx. €5 million, with prime contractor Japan Radio Company to provide Mode 5-capable Identification Friend/Foe (IFF) equipment for four platforms operated by the Japan Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF), the company announced on 4 May. Mode 5 is the latest and most advanced IFF standard which uses cutting-edge cryptographic techniques to secure the systems against electronic deception by adversaries.

The company will provide its IFF Mode 5 M426 LPI Interrogator and SIT2010 Crypto Appliqué products, ensuring that the JGSDF is ready for ‘Mode-4 sunset’ in June 2020, when many allied armed forces will switch over to the new Mode 5 standard. Leonardo has equipped multiple nations with Mode 5-capable technology, including Italy and the UK: it is also the only source of Mode 5 cryptography key generation technology available outside of the United States.

Having already delivered its SIT-422/5J interrogator equipment for the JGSDF, by supplying the Mode-5 M426 LPI interrogator and SIT2010 crypto, Leonardo will provide a complete, digital Mode-5-ready capability in a compact, lightweight package. The company was previously the first non-US enterprise to provide IFF equipment to the JGSDF, in 2016. Since then, in partnership with Japan Radio Company, Leonardo has become one of the main suppliers of Mode 5-capable IFF technology to the Japanese MoD.

As the only non-US source of Mode 5 cryptography key generation technology, Leonardo’s IFF products are interoperable with NATO and allied forces as well as being readily exportable. (Image: Leonardo)

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