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DSCA 11-40

Memo Status : Active
DoD Shield

DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY
201 12th STREET SOUTH, STE 203
ARLINGTON, VA 22202-5408

10/21/2011

MEMORANDUM FOR :

DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY FOR DEFENSE EXPORTS AND COOPERATION
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
DIRECTOR, DEFENSE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT AGENCY
DIRECTOR FOR SECURITY ASSISTANCE, DEFENSE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING SERVICE - INDIANAPOLIS OPERATIONS
DIRECTOR, DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY
DIRECTOR, DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
DIRECTOR, DEFENSE LOGISTICS INFORMATION SERVICE
DIRECTOR, DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY DISTRIBUTION SERVICES
DIRECTOR, DEFENSE THREAT REDUCTION AGENCY
DIRECTOR, NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL- INTELLIGENCEAGENCY
DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR INFORMATION ASSURANCE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY

SUBJECT :

Information on Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF) Systems, DSCA Policy 11-40

REFERENCE :

 

  1. CJCSI 6510.06B, Communications Releases to Foreign Nations, March 31, 2011
  2. Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM), C3.3.1.1.
  3. DoD AIMS 03-1000A, Technical Standard for the ATCRBS/IFF/Mark XIIA Electronic Identification and Military Implementation of Mode S
  4. NATO STANAG 4193, Technical Characteristics of IFF Mk XIIA and Mk XII Interrogators and Transponders

 

IFF systems are sensitive identification devices that emit signals used to identify whether a platform is friend or foe and thereby prevent fratricide. IFF Mode 4, part of the Mark XII system, was designed in the 1950's to provide a secure military IFF capability. A Mark XII system is comprised of transponders and interrogators, each with a crypto device (either embedded or external). The IFF Mode 4 system is being replaced; however it will remain operational until replaced by IFF Mode 5, which has not yet been fielded.

IFF Mode 5 is part of the Mark XIIA system and will utilize new or upgraded interrogators and transponders as well as new crypto devices (either embedded or external). The Mark XIIA (IFF Mode 4/5) equipment is dual IFF Mode 4 and 5 capable and is compatible with legacy IFF systems. The IFF Mode 5 provides improved performance compared to legacy IFF Mode 4. The U.S. military is expected to field IFF Mode 5 in stages, by platform, with Joint Initial Operational Capability beginning in 2014. Both Mark XII (IFF Mode 4) and XIIA (IFF Mode 4/5) systems are considered significant military equipment (SME).

In addition to the military modes, IFF transponders/interrogators also include civil air traffic control (ATC) modes, which do not require COMSEC to operate. Release of IFF Mode 4 capability to foreign governments must be handled according to the COMSEC release process of reference (a) as described in reference (b). The IFF Mode 4 is typically approved on a general release basis, which means it is not tied to a specific quantity or platform. Transfers of dual IFF Mode 4/5 (Mark XIIA) systems are based on validated interoperability requirements. Initially, any dual IFF Mode 4/5 systems sold will provide IFF mode 4 operational capability only.

IFF systems which use classified military information are subject to a disclosure review and approval as defined in the National Disclosure Policy (NDP-1). Per NDP-1, approvals for release of U.S. classified data are mandatory before an LOA can be offered to a purchaser.

IFF Mode 4 Keying Materiel is obtained by COMSEC Accounts from the Controlling Authority. The Controlling Authority for the IFF Mode 4 is the Joint COMSEC Management Office (JCMO). Until IFF Mode 5 is in operational use, only the Mode 5 test key will be available. An IFF Mode 5 test key must be obtained through the National Security Agency. The procedure for release of IFF Mode 5 operational key will be determined once IFF Mode 5 is in operational use by U.S. forces.

The IFF Mode 5 military standard is documented in references (c) and (d). Release of these documents is governed by U.S. and NATO disclosure policies. FMS customer requests for these documents should be submitted for coordination through the relevant Combatant Commands or program offices, to the DoD AIMS PO (Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System (ATCRBS) Identification Friend or Foe Mark XII/XIIA Systems Program Office).

The DoD AIMS PO is responsible for ensuring Mark XIIA systems meet the interoperability requirements described in the DoD AIMS 03-1000 series standards. Prior to transfer of IFF Mode 5 or dual Mode 4/5 systems, the Implementing Agency must ensure the system has been certified for interoperability by the AIMS PO.

All LOAs for the provision of IFF Mode 4 or 5 systems must clearly identify the IFF system components in an LOA note. The LOA notes should also clearly state whether or not an IFF system has been certified as meeting AIMS standards, to ensure the FMS customer is aware of the certification status.

The following table lists organizations and their release coordination responsibilities.

Organization Responsibility

DSCA

  • Review LOA prior to offering, to ensure appropriate reviews have been accomplished and approvals are in place.

Implementing Agencies

  • Prior to offering an LOA for IFF Mode 4 or 5, request approval from NSA to sell associated COMSEC equipment.
  • Upon identification of appropriate IFF system for platform, ensure DoD AIMS PO has certified the IFF system prior to delivery.

National Security Agency (NSA)

  • Review and process COMSEC release requests in accordance with applicable release processes.
  • Provide "approval to sell" letters to Implementing Agencies (IA) for IFF COMSEC devices.
  • Provide IFF Mode 5 test key, as required.

DoD AIMS PO

  • Evaluate systems to determine if they comply with relevant standards; certify those that do.

Purchaser

  • Nations National Distribution Authority (NDA) or COMSEC custodians should request COMSEC keying materiel from the controlling authority, i.e., Joint COMSEC Management Office (JCMO), McDill Air Force Base, FL.

If you have any questions concerning this guidance, please contact Ms. Holly Haverstick, DSCA-PGM/WPN, at holly.haverstick@dsca.mil, or (703) 604-6601. For general questions concerning the SAMM, please contact Mr. Kent Bell, DSCA-STR/POL, at kent.bell@dsca.mil, or (703) 604-6612.

William E. Landay III
Vice Admiral, USN
Director