The US Air Force will use an improved identification friend or foe (IFF) system capability for E-3 sentry airborne warning and control system aircraft (AWACS).

AWACS aircraft provide situational awareness of friendly, neutral and hostile activity, along with early warning of enemy actions during joint, allied and coalition operations.

Next-generation IFF programme manager Tricia Hill said the IFF Mode 5 would allow for earlier detection of friendly targets.

“Interrogators provide identification of cooperative platforms, and Mode 5 improves upon that for the E-3 fleet,” he added.

Mode 5 allows for improved detection of “manoeuvring” targets at a maximum range, while improving detection of all targets at all ranges.