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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has made a significant contribution to India’s military technology with the IFF Mk XII(S) system. This system, derived from the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) program, plays a vital role in identifying friendly forces from potential threats.

The IFF Mk XII(S) system represents a clever adaptation of technology developed for the AEW&C program. While the AEW&C system utilizes a distributed IFF configuration due to its unique platform requirements, DRDO recognized the potential for a more streamlined, single-box version. This vision led to the development of the Mk XII(S) variants, catering to the needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and other branches of the military.

The development of the Mk XII(S) system involved a collaborative effort between DRDO and production agencies (PA). DRDO played a crucial role in proposing and initiating the project, leveraging the existing technology as a springboard for a new standalone system. The PAs then stepped in to handle the critical task of developing and qualifying the single-box configuration variants for production.

The Mk XII(S) system has undergone rigorous testing to ensure its effectiveness. The Combined Interrogator-Transponder (CIT) variant in a split configuration has been successfully qualified and integrated at the Air Rig of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to verify its transponder functionality. Additionally, the unit has been tested and integrated with the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar developed by the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) for the Light Combat Aircraft Mk 2 (LCA Mk 2).

The Mk XII(S) system is a significant development for India’s defense capabilities. By enabling accurate friend-or-foe identification, it minimizes the risk of mistaken engagements and ensures efficient coordination between different military branches. The system’s single-box configuration offers advantages in terms of compactness and ease of integration on various platforms.