BAE Systems to build identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) systems for air defense on land and surface warships

June 20, 2024
Modular digital architecture accommodates customized configurations for air defense, weapon systems, air traffic control, and range instrumentation.

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy air defense experts are asking BAE Systems to build 18 AN/UPX-50(C) digital identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) interrogators for Navy surface warships and land sites.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River NAS, Md., have announced a $9.1 million order to the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Greenlawn, N.Y., for 18 AN/UPX-50(C) digital identification boxes for the Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.

The AN/UPX-50(C) digital IFF interrogator that is the upgraded U.S. Navy Mode 5 level 1and level 2 and Mode S interrogator. It is a tech refresh upgrade to the Navy's AN/UPX-41(C) and AN/UPX-45(C) IFF interrogators.

The IFF interrogator is part of the Mark XII and Mark XIIA IFF interrogator processing system. It includes Mode 5 and Mode S, and adds a third receive channel for passive acquisition of Mode 5 Level 2 and ADS-B In.

Related: Navy chooses circular antenna array from BAE Systems for shipboard identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) system

The Mark XIIA IFF interrogator is for air defense aboard surface warships and at land sites, and conforms to U.S. military, NATO, ICAO, and U.S. FAA airborne surveillance, and air traffic control standards.

Its modular and digital architecture accommodates customized configurations for air defense, weapon systems, air traffic control, and range instrumentation.

The interrogator can generate digital target reports, wideband video for passive and active decoding, and provides amplitude monopulse for improved azimuth accuracy over conventional systems. It operates autonomously, or with a host radar.

Related: BAE Systems to provide electronically steerable IFF antennas for surface warship air defense

The AN/UPX-50(C) digital IFF interrogator is based on the VME embedded computing design standard, uses embedded M5 NSA certified crypto, offers built-in test, offers growth for a target data extractor.

The interrogator can operate at altitudes to 12,000 feet in temperatures from -28 to 65 degrees Celsius. It meets MIL-S-901D for shock and vibration, exposure to salt fog and humidity, and meets MIL-STD-461D electromagnetic compatibility.

On this order BAE Systems will do the work in Greenlawn, N.Y.; Austin, Texas; and Manassas, Va., and should be finished by April 2026. For more information contact BAE Systems Electronic Systems online at, or Naval Air Systems Command at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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