South Korea-based defence company LIG Nex1 has selected Italian aerospace firm Leonardo as its strategic technology partner.
Under the partnership, the companies will initially bid together to carry out the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) upgrade requirement programme for the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Agency.
As part of the programme, LIG Nex1 and Leonardo will update and upgrade the IFF equipment installed on the aircraft fleet operated by the South Korean Armed Forces to the latest ‘Mode 5’ standard.
IFF plays a significant role in military operations that allows armed personnel to recognise friends and identify potential enemies or threats.
The technology serves as an upgraded and advanced digital version of a ‘challenge and response’ system and is used to send out a challenge signal and check that it receives a correct password.
Using advanced cryptographic techniques, the latest Mode 5 standard configuration safeguards and secures the IFF system from hostile attempts to mislead or jam.
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Currently, Leonardo is working as prime contractor on an IFF upgrade programme in the UK.
The programme has been designed to modify the IFF technology on more than 350 of the UK’s operational aircraft, naval vessels and ground-based air defence systems to Mode 5 standard.
Last year, the company and a Korean defence contractor signed a memorandum of understanding to deliver avionics and mission systems related to targeting systems to South Korea, as well as to customers across the globe.