Northrop Grumman has received a contract for the mode S upgrade to the identification friend or foe (IFF) systems for the Sentry E-3D airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.

Under the $64m contract awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Northrop will design, develop, integrate, test and support the mode S upgrade to the IFF system for the Sentry E-3D aircraft.

The IFF interrogator is an advanced airborne defence system that provides a long-range, rapid early warning and detection capability, allowing discrimination between friendly and hostile forces.

The mode S system upgrade will enable the Sentry E-3D aircraft to be used in controlled airspace.

Northrop will perform the work under the existing Sentry E-3D whole life support programme (WLSP) at RAF Waddington, UK; and at its facilities in Herndon, Virginia; Warner Robins, Georgia; and Melbourne, Florida in the US.