Raytheon will produce and deliver up to 8,000 computers with identification friend or foe (IFF) equipment to improve secure combat identification for the US Air Force.

The KIV-77 applique cryptocomputers will safeguard communications and protect warfighters when they need to identify friendly positions during combat.

It provides information assurance for both legacy mode 4 and new mode 5 IFF, which is part of Raytheon’s crypto modernisation initiative.

Mode 5 IFF is an encrypted data link between interrogators and transponders to confirm a friendly aircraft and uses a newer, more secure waveform than Mode 4 to ensure information security for warfighter communications.

The computers are type 1 certified by the National Security Agency, implying that they are authorised for handling classified data.

The $100m contract is valid for a period of five years.