Raytheon [RTN] said it has completed the first delivery of APX-119 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders for the South Korean Army’s Surion helicopter, the utility helicopter built by Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. 

The IFF transponders provide military aircraft with a secure combat identification capability to reduce fratricide and enhance situational awareness, in addition to providing safe access to civilian airspace, the company said in an Oct. 27 statement.

“This is a major milestone in providing the Republic of Korea with the next generation IFF system to meet evolving military and civil requirements for air, land and sea applications,” said Glen Bassett, director of Advanced Communications and Countermeasures in Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business.

“We have also delivered APX-114 interrogators for maritime applications and our reduced size and weight mini IFF transponder to Korean Air Lines’ unmanned aerial systems,” he said. 

Military IFF systems provide time-critical positive identification of friendly forces. A ground or airborne interrogator that transmits a secure message automatically initiates the process. The transponder receives the interrogation and generates a secure response.

Based on the response, the interrogator can determine range, heading and identification. Civil IFF systems also provide aircraft identification and altitude.

Future upgrades will include GPS position in the transponder response.