By: Dawn Zoldi (Colonel, USAF Retired) 

In late January, a drone attack killed three American soldiers at a U.S. military base in Jordan. More recently, a German ship errantly fired two missiles at a U.S. drone over the Red Sea. To be sure, detecting, identifying, tracking and mitigating friendly versus enemy drones remains a wicked hard problem which will require a multi-layered technological approach to address. IFF (“Identify Friend or Foe”) transponders rank high among the technologies. They can positively distinguish friendly aircraft from those of the enemy using broadcast transmissions with secure data encryption. Today, they are small, cheap and effective – yet virtually no one is using them ubiquitously on drones. Without IFF or a similar technology on all friendly aircraft we can’t automate our counter drone systems, and remain dependent on suboptimal manual defenses against this widespread threat. Unless Congress acts fast, our troops will remain at risk. 

And that will cost more lives. 

Dawn Zoldi mentions Sagetech Avionics MX12B Transponder, which is equipped with IFF including ADS-B In capability which allows it to track up to 400 friendly targets at the same time and present them through the C2 graphical user interface (GUI) to troops.

Read the full article to learn more

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