Frequently Asked Questions about the MX12B Mode 5 IFF Micro Transponder

product features and functions

In order to achieve an 1102 AIMS platform certification, integration with the autopilot/flight computer is a requirement. If a platform certification is not required, the MX12B can be used as a standalone device as long as there is serial communications through the C2 link.

No. The MX12B is backwards compatible with the MXS, so all you will need to do is implement the military modes.

The MX12B is built to the AIMS 04-900(A) option B interface protocol. Compatible appliqués include the Raytheon KIV-77, Leonardo SIT-2010, and (pending) Viasat KIV-79, and (pending) General Dynamics MAC.

Modes A, C, S, 1, 2, 3, and 5 level 1 can be incorporated without GPS. You need a valid GPS position source in order to implement Mode 5 level 2, ADS-B In and ADS-B Out.

The MX12B hardware unit plus interface software are included with every MX12B purchase. Additionally, our technical support team brings millions of military program flight hours of expertise to answer your detailed questions. There is a large ecosystem of accessories available, including integration kits, test boxes, KIV emulators, cables, antennas, and other items.

No, Sagetech offers a crypto emulator kit that is compatible with the IFF 45 test set. This option greatly simplifies your COMSEC requirements.

The transponder can be controlled through the integration of our protocol into your autopilot or through the use of the included graphical user interface (GUI) along with a serial or Ethernet connection to the aircraft.

The MX12B includes antenna diversity (dual antenna installation) by default. However, if your application requires just a single antenna, connect it to the bottom antenna port and follow the message protocol in the installation manual to configure for non-diversity.

ADS-B In provides situational awareness of other aircraft to assist in avoiding collisions. ADS-B is integrated into the MX12B platform, which simplifies the overall aircraft integration and improves flight safety. This enables your aircraft to operate in airspace of all types around the world for multi-mission capability. ADS-B In additionally provides a strong safety case for BVLOS missions.

Antenna diversity ensures visibility by both ground-based and high altitude communications equipment, and to other aircraft both above and below your platform in the same airspace. Diversity also helps avoid aircraft shadowing for larger platforms.

More aircraft are moving to incorporate Ethernet comms protocols. To support both modern and traditional aircraft integration, the MX12B supports Ethernet in addition to traditional serial protocols RS-232 and RS-422.


The 17-1000 is the current specification that removed the unsupported Mode 4 requirements, and re-defined transmitter prioritization. Any customization to existing devices or any new Mode 5 devices will need to be compliant with the 17-1000. IFF transponders originally designed to the 03-1000 spec may require significant changes to their transmit architecture in order to be compliant with the current 17-1000 spec.

None. The MX12B is fully compliant with the 17-1000 specification, and does not take any of the deviations authorized in Appendix G. This ensures the MX12B is compatible with all aircraft, both manned and unmanned.

The MX12B contains the same functionality as traditional Mode 5 IFF transponders, but in a 93% reduced size and weight.

Yes. The MX12B can be modified to support future requirements of Mode 5 Level 2B In and Out with minimal re-certification efforts.

usage and integration

No. The MX12B is compliant with the full DoD AIMS 17-1000 specification, and is suitable for manned and unmanned aircraft alike.

The MX12B transponder needs to be integrated with the cockpit display for the transponder interface. Sagetech can assist with this effort.

Yes. We utilize standard mutual suppression bus protocol designed to the ARINC 718 specification, which supports up to 6 difference L-band transmitters.

pricing and availability

4-6 weeks ARO once in production and excluding an export license. 8-10 weeks including the time required for a US State Department export license.

Our pricing sheet is available to qualified customers. Contact us for details. 

Products described in this communication are subject to export license restrictions and regulations including the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and the Export Administration and Foreign Assets Control Regulations.  Further restrictions may apply.