IFF: identification friend or foe

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pages: 463 words: 118,936

Darwin Among the Machines by George Dyson

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, Danny Hillis, Donald Davies, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, IFF: identification friend or foe, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, low earth orbit, Menlo Park, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, phenotype, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, spectrum auction, strong AI, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, zero-sum game

The state of an individual spot was distinguished by “interrogating” the spot with a brief pulse of electrons and noting the character of a very faint secondary current induced in a wire screen attached to the tube’s outside face. Von Neumann had discussed the underlying concept—in principle similar to Zworykin’s iconoscope but operating in reverse—while at the Moore School in 1944 and explored its possible use as a high-speed storage medium in the EDVAC report of 1945. Frederick C. Williams, after working on pulse-coded IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) radar systems at England’s Telecommunications Research Establishment during the war, developed a practical version in 1946 and succeeded in building a small computer at Manchester University, under the direction of M. H. A. Newman, that demonstrated CRT-based storage and a rudimentary stored program in June 1948. The prototype operated in serial mode, cycling through the pattern of spots in a series of traces, like an oscilloscope or a television, thereby reading and writing the entire sequence of bits thousands of times per second—a vastly accelerated version of one of the loops of paper tape used by the Colossus at Bletchley Park.

See Institute for Advanced Study IAS (Institute for Advanced Study) computer, xii, 78–79, 91–92, 93–107 as ancestor of the microprocessor, 98, 203 and artificial life, xii, 111–18, 121, 124–26, 129, 192. see also Barricelli construction and operation, 97–107, 111 and digital computing at RAND, 104, 148, 178 duplication of, 97, 98, 107 logical and physical architecture, 98, 99–107, 157 and nuclear weapons, 78–79, 91–92, 107, 111 and origins of IBM model 701, 91, 106 origins of, and weather prediction, 87–88 peripheral equipment, 98, 101–102, 106, 144 programming of, 102, 106–107, 114, 121, 130 progress reports, and impact of, 98, 99, 121 and random-access memory, 98, 103–105, 113 shakedown run, 78–79, 111 siblings and offspring, listed, 97 and von Neumann, 78–79, 87–88, 91–92, 97, 98–102, 106–108, 125, 153 IBM (International Business Machines) 12, 91, 103–104, 106, 122, 144, 148, 179. see also SAGE and evolution of operating systems, 122, 189 and IAS computer project, 91, 106 and punched-card computing, 60, 78, 81, 82, 83, 106, 122, 144 and von Neumann, 91 IBM computers: model 650, 122; model 701, 91, 106, 178; model 704, 118, 184; model 7090, 151, 182 iconoscope, 85, 104 ideas. see also consciousness; meaning; mind Darwinian evolution of, 28, 184 and formal logic, 38, 43, 46, 49, 129 nature of, 136, 158, 225 IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) radar, 104 Illinois, University of, 107 immortality, and composite organisms, 175, 191, 210 and non-Darwinian evolution, 31 improbability, and origins of life, 29–30, 112, 177 incompleteness (mathematical), 49–50, 53–54, 70, 72, 78, 120, 167, 228 Industrial Revolution, 21–22, 134 infinity, and finite-state machines, 10, 35, 43, 56, 130, 190 information. see also bandwidth; bits; communication; cybernetics; telecommunication and cybernetics, 6, 98, 101 defined, by Bateson, 167 flow, in data networks, 12, 110, 150, 158–59, 205 mathematical theory of, 110, 153, 155 and meaning, 8, 155, 158, 167, 171, 184–85 and money, 162, 165 and origins of life, 12, 29 insects, 8, 13, 129, 170, 174, 210 Instinct and Reason (Smee), 45, 48 Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton, N.J.


Turing's Cathedral by George Dyson

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, Brownian motion, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, Danny Hillis, dark matter, double helix, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, housing crisis, IFF: identification friend or foe, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, SETI@home, social graph, speech recognition, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture

“By the time Pom and I got back to New York City—we were still at Hazeltine—we were absolutely enthralled. He just bubbles with ideas all the time.”27 Pomerene and Ware were able to trade their New York apartments with two Princeton residents who were working for the United Nations in Manhattan, exchanging a long commute by train for a short commute by bicycle down Nassau Street and Olden Lane. Pomerene and Ware had both worked on pulse-coded IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) radar systems during the war. As soon as radar had made it possible to hit targets at night or beyond visible range, otherwise adversarial air forces agreed on a system of coded signals identifying their aircraft as friend or foe. In contrast to the work of wartime cryptographers, whose job was to design codes that were as difficult to understand as possible, the goal of IFF was to develop codes that were as difficult to misunderstand as possible.

Burks, Arthur W. (1915–2008), 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 11.1, 12.1, 15.1, 18.1 and ENIAC on von Neumann, Gödel, and Turing Bush, Vannevar (1890–1974), 5.1, 7.1, 11.1, 11.2 Byllynge, Edward calculus ratiocinator (Leibniz), 6.1, 6.2, 18.1 Caldwell, Samuel H. (1904–1960), 5.1, 5.2 California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 9.1, 15.1 California, University of, at Los Angeles (UCLA), 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 10.1, 14.1, 14.2, 18.1, 18.2 Cambridge University, 3.1, 6.1, 8.1, 8.2, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 16.1 Cantor, George (1845–1918) capacitors, 5.1, 5.2, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 carbon dioxide, effect on climate Carteret, Sir George (1610–1680) Casino-on-the-Park (New York) Castle Bravo (hydrogen bomb test, 1952), 1.1, 18.1 cathode-ray tube (CRT), 1.1, 5.1, 8.1, 14.1 proposed as memory (1945) see also Williams (memory) tubes cell phones cellular automata, 8.1, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 15.1 central arithmetic unit, 5.1, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 12.1 Central Park (New York) central processing unit (CPU) Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan (1910–1995) Charles II (1630–1685) Charney, Elinor, 9.1, 14.1 Charney, Jule (1917–1981), 9.1, 9.2, 14.1, 14.2, 18.1, 18.2 on Bigelow on von Neumann on Zworykin Chicago, University of, 3.1, 3.2, 5.1, 9.1 Church, Alonzo (1903–1995), 13.1, 13.2, 13.3 Church, George Church-Turing thesis Clarke, Benjamin classification (secrecy), 5.1, 5.2, 13.1, 18.1, 18.2, 18.3 Clippinger, Richard (1913–1997) cloud computing Cocktail Party, The (Eliot, 1950) codes and coding apps (applications), 14.1, 17.1, 18.1 asynchronous “background” vs. “problem” (ENIAC, 1947) binary, ack.1, 1.1, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 8.1, 13.1, 18.1 digital vs. analog, 12.1, 14.1 error catastrophe and error-correcting, 1.1, 12.1, 15.1 genetic, 1.1, 4.1, 11.1, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 14.1, 15.1, 15.2, 16.1, 17.1, 17.2 Gödel’s theorems and, 6.1, 6.2 IFF (Identification Friend or Foe), 7.1, 8.1 interstellar propagation of metazoan, 11.1, 12.1, 14.1, 16.1, 17.1 non-linear proliferation of, 1.1, 1.2, 15.1, 18.1 statistical vs. digital universal (Leibniz), 1.1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 18.1 unpredictability of, prf.1, 18.1 see also cryptography (and cryptanalysis); language(s); “On Computable Numbers”; order codes; pulse-frequency coding; self-reproducing automata; software Cold War, 4.1, 4.2, 11.1, 15.1 Collected Works (von Neumann) collector societies, 12.1, 18.1 College of New Jersey, 2.1, 3.1 Colossus (cryptanalytical machine), 13.1, 16.1, 18.1, 18.2 Columbia University, 7.1, 7.2, 9.1, 16.1 command line, origins of, ack.1, ack.2, 17.1 communication, mathematical theory of (Shannon), 5.1, 7.1 Computer and the Brain, The (von Neumann, 1958) computer science, 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 18.1 Computron Conant, James (1893–1978), 5.1, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3 continuum hypothesis Courant Institute (NYU) Crane, Hewitt (1927–2008), 8.1, 18.1 Crawford, Anne (Flexner) creationism Crick, Francis (1916–2004), 1.1, 12.1, 15.1 crossing (of gene sequences), 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 18.1 Crossroads Nursery School (IAS), 6.1, 7.1, 18.1 cryptography (and cryptanalysis), 1.1, 13.1 crystallography, X-ray, 8.1, 18.1 Cybernetics movement, origins of cyclogenesis Dán, Charles, 10.1, 10.2 Darwin, Sir Charles (1887–1962) DASK (Dansk Algoritmisk Sekvens Kalkulator) Davis, John H.


pages: 590 words: 152,595

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

Abbreviations AAA antiaircraft artillery ABM Anti-Ballistic Missile ACTUV Anti-submarine warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel AGI artificial general intelligence AGM air-to-ground missile AI artificial intelligence AMRAAM Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile ARPA Advanced Research Projects Agency ASI artificial superintelligence ASW anti-submarine warfare ATR automatic target recognition BDA battle damage assessment BWC Biological Weapons Convention CCW Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons C&D Command and Decision CIC combat information center CIWS Close-In Weapon System CODE Collaborative Operations in Denied Environments DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DDoS distributed denial of service DIY do-it-yourself DMZ demilitarized zone DoD Department of Defense FAA Federal Aviation Administration FIAC fast inshore attack craft FIS Fire Inhibit Switch FLA Fast Lightweight Autonomy GGE Group of Governmental Experts GPS global positioning system ICRAC International Committee for Robot Arms Control ICRC International Committee of the Red Cross IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IFF identification friend or foe IHL international humanitarian law IMU inertial measurement unit INF Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces IoT Internet of Things J-UCAS Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems LIDAR light detection and ranging LOCAAS Low Cost Autonomous Attack System LRASM Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile MAD mutual assured destruction MARS Mobile Autonomous Robotic System MMW millimeter-wave NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NGO nongovernmental organization NORAD North American Aerospace Defense Command ONR Office of Naval Research OODA observe, orient, decide, act OPM Office of Personnel Management PGM precision-guided munition PLC programmable logic controllers RAS IEEE Robotics and Automation Society R&D research and development ROE rules of engagement SAG surface action group SAR synthetic aperture radar SAW Squad Automatic Weapon SEC Securities and Exchange Commission SFW Sensor Fuzed Weapon SORT Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty START Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty SUBSAFE Submarine Safety TASM Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile TBM tactical ballistic missile TJ Thomas Jefferson High School TLAM Tomahawk Land Attack Missile TRACE Target Recognition and Adaption in Contested Environments TTO Tactical Technology Office TTP tactics, techniques, and procedures UAV uninhabited aerial vehicle UCAV uninhabited combat aerial vehicle UK United Kingdom UN United Nations UNIDIR UN Institute for Disarmament Research U.S.

., 233 Google, 125, 128 Goose, Steve, 252, 266–68, 271, 349, 351 GPS (global positioning system), 41 GRASP (General Robotics Automation Sensing and Perception), 70 Gray Eagle drone, 17 greedy shooter algorithm, 12, 21 Grossman, Dave, 275–77, 290 ground combat robots, 111–17 Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), 346 Guadalcanal, Battle of, 101 Guardium, 102 Guarino, Alessandro, 226 Gulf of Tonkin incident, 208, 389n Gulf War (1991), 44, 279, 340 Haas, Michael Carl, 306–9, 317, 330 hacking, 157, 246–47; see also electronic attack hacking back, 223–24, 228 Hague Convention (1899), 343 Hague Convention (1907), 260–61 Hambling, David, 114 HARM, see High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile Harpoon anti-ship missile, 42, 62 Harpy, 5, 47–48, 47f, 52, 55, 117, 353 Harpy 2 (Harop), 55 Hawking, Stephen, 232 Hawkins, Jeff, 241 Hawley, John, 171–72, 177, 189, 193 Heaton, Jeff, 132 Her (film), 235 Herr, Andrew, 232 heuristics, 239–40 Heyns, Christof, 287–89, 295 hierarchical coordination, 19, 20f high-frequency trading, 199, 201–2; see also automated stock trading high-reliability organizations, 161, 170–72, 176–78 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), 47–48, 47f, 353 “Highway of Death,” 279 Hiroshima, 279 Holocaust, 340 homing munitions, 41, 42 Horowitz, Michael, 265, 302, 303, 312 hors de combat, 252, 258–61 Hui, Fan, 126 human-assisted automated weapons, see centaur warfighters human–automation failure, 159 human dignity, 287–90 human judgment and attacks, 270 and autonomous weapons, 80–81 and crisis stability, 305–6 and DoD Directive 3000.09, 75, 90–95 and laws of war, 357–59 to reduce risk in autonomous systems, 147–49 and SDI, 309–10 and Taranis drone, 109 treaty language about, 357–59 human-machine hybrid cognitive systems, see centaur warfighters human-machine relationship and CODE, 73 as dimension of autonomy, 28–30 and future of AI, 244 and Samsung SGR-A1 robot, 104–5 Human Rights Watch, 252, 282 humans and laws of war, 270 as moral agent and fail-safe, 323–25 and “unmanned aircraft,” 16 human-supervised weapons systems, 147 Hussein, Saddam, 7, 340 Hutus, 288 hybrid human-machine cognitive systems, see centaur warfighters I, Robot (film), 27 IBM Jeopardy! Challenge, 146–47 ICRAC (International Committee for Robot Arms Control), 285 ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), 269–70 identification friend or foe (IFF) signal, 138, 139, 144, 379n IEDs (improvised explosive devices), 14 IEEE-RAS Technical Committee on Roboethics, 280–81 IEEE Spectrum, 104–5 IFF signal, see identification friend or foe signal “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” (Ellison), 234 IHL, see international humanitarian law ImageNet dataset, 129 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 14 Inception-v3 neural network, 129 incomprehensibility of complex systems, 153–54 indoor flight/reconnaissance, 68–71, 121–24 inertial measurement unit (IMU), 123 inertial navigation, 42 information technology, see cyberwarfare INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty, 301 Innocent II (pope), 331 intelligence autonomy and, 28–33, 50 spectrum of, 31f “intelligence explosion,” 233 intelligent machines, rise of, 231–48; see also advanced artificial intelligence; artificial general intelligence Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, 301 International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC), 285 International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 269–70 International Court of Justice, 262 international humanitarian law (IHL) and autonomous weapons bans, 348 core principles, 251–52 and human dignity, 295 human judgment and, 358–59 Martens clause, 263–66 precautions in attack, 258 principle of distinction, 252–55 principle of proportionality, 255–57 and rogue states, 268–69 unnecessary suffering, 257–58 internecine wars, 288 Internet of Things (IoT), 219–20 Internet Worm (1988), 212, 225 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, 245 introspective systems, 226 Iran cyberattacks by, 213 RQ-170 drone incident, 209 Stuxnet attack on nuclear facilities, 214 swarming of U.S. ships, 22, 107 U.S. military and, 207 Iran Air Flight 655, 169–70, 262 Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988), 169–70 Iraq War (1991), see Gulf War Iraq War (2003–2011) chemical weapons and, 340 distinguishing soldiers from civilians, 253–55 drones in, 14, 25 electromagnetic environment, 15 Patriot missile fratricides, 137–43, 160, 192, 278; see also Patriot missile system Israel ground robots, 5, 102 Harpy drone, 5, 47–48, 47f, 52, 55, 117, 353 robotic boat, 102–3 Trophy system, 92 Israel Defense Forces, 92 Japan Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, 154–55 Japan (continued) poison gas use in WWII, 340 Senkaku Islands incident, 208 U.S. bombing campaigns in WWII, 279, 282 JASON, 186, 187 Java, 131 Jennings, Ken, 146 Jeopardy!


pages: 390 words: 119,527

Armed Humanitarians by Nathan Hodge

Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, European colonialism, failed state, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, jobless men, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, Potemkin village, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, walking around money

The night before the battalion crossed north into Iraq, its staging base in Camp Udairi, Kuwait, saw a real missile attack. Startled from their cots by a deafening crack, soldiers donned gas masks and climbed back in their sleeping bags. The all-clear sounded soon after over the camp loudspeakers. It was friendly fire. As it turned out, we had heard the impact of a U.S. Patriot missile smacking into a Royal Air Force GR4A Tornado fighter. The missile battery failed to pick up the aircraft’s IFF (identification friend or foe) beacon, an electronic signal that is supposed to prevent fratricide.1 Both crew members were killed. Word of the incident spread quickly, but although it occurred within earshot, I did not learn the full details until I heard about it from the BBC (a young company commander, better prepared than I, had remembered to pack a shortwave radio). My pessimism deepened when I learned of a grenade attack the previous night in neighboring Camp Pennsylvania.


The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal by David E. Hoffman

back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, IFF: identification friend or foe, Mikhail Gorbachev, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

Other details on capabilities, function and employment are also valuable, but may be lengthy.” This spoke volumes about the state of the Tolkachev operation after four years. The Tu-22M and the Tu-160, known by NATO as the Backfire and the Blackjack, respectively, were supersonic strategic bombers, neither of which was directly in Tolkachev’s line of work. Nor was the Yak-41, a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that was never produced. The IFF (identification friend or foe) and sapfir radars were definitely within Phazotron’s field of research, but Tolkachev had already provided extensive material on the sapfir. Tolkachev was being pushed to grab secrets well beyond those that he would normally see at the office.34 The CIA wrestled with whether to give Tolkachev new miniature spy cameras for use at his office. The station pointed out that the small Tropel spy cameras had improved somewhat; the minimum light was now twenty-five foot-candles.


pages: 434 words: 128,151

After the Flood: What the Dambusters Did Next by John Nichol

British Empire, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, the market place

Allied bombers had already been pounding gun batteries and radar stations along the entire French coast, trying to avoid revealing the true focus of the impending attack by inflicting equal damage on areas far from Normandy. A thousand aircraft were involved in D-Day operations that night, and the fuselages and wings of all Allied aircraft, including 617’s, were painted with black and white stripes, like a piano keyboard, to minimise the risk of losses to ‘friendly fire’, since the volume of D-Day signals traffic was certain to swamp the normal IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system that used a transponder to identify friendly aircraft to British radar. Bomber crews were also forbidden from jettisoning bombs over the Channel that night, because of the significant risk of hitting one of the hundreds of Allied ships making the crossing. To reinforce Operation Taxable’s simulation of an invasion at close to the Channel’s narrowest point, hundreds of fake aircraft, landing craft and military vehicles had been assembled in Kent for the benefit of German air reconnaissance and spies.


pages: 470 words: 144,455

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier

Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, business process, butterfly effect, cashless society, Columbine, defense in depth, double entry bookkeeping, fault tolerance, game design, IFF: identification friend or foe, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, pez dispenser, pirate software, profit motive, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, slashdot, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, the payments system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Most will have to be international: a Net-based passport, commerce systems used for international commerce (which is all of them, these days), digital signatures on international contracts and agreements. Often computer authentication is invisible to the user. When you use your cell phone (or your pay-TV system), it authenticates itself to the network so the network knows who to bill. Military aircraft have IFF (identification friend or foe) systems to authenticate themselves to allied aircraft and antiaircraft batteries. Burglar alarms include authentication, to detect someone splicing a rogue alarm (that will never go off ) into the circuit. Tachographs, used in trucks throughout Europe to enforce driving rules, such as mandatory rest periods, use authentication techniques to prevent fraud. Prepaid electricity meters in the United Kingdom are another example.


pages: 473 words: 156,146

They Gave Me a Seafire by Commander R 'Mike' Crosley Dsc Rn

friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, Isaac Newton, traveling salesman

He made use of a quirk of the type of radar that we had, as it had ‘null’ spots at certain heights and distances. This allowed him to assess the height of any approaching raid without having the more modern height-finding radar in the ship at all. Being a practical scientist he had worked this out for himself. Also at this time, we had to fit a new ‘black box’ in the back of our Hurricanes. This was the IFF (Identification Friend or Foe), to help identify us so that we should not be mistaken for a German or an Italian. In addition, we had a new, four-channel, crystal-tuned r/t set — TR1196 — to replace the single channel manually-tuned TR9D. The new set had a lever which selected any of four HF channels. The old wire aerial was removed from between the tail and fuselage and a short ‘whip’ aerial substituted. The improved performance of the radio transformed the fighter situation.


pages: 279 words: 96,180

Anything to Declare?: The Searching Tales of an HM Customs Officer by Jon Frost

airport security, blood diamonds, British Empire, friendly fire, haute cuisine, IFF: identification friend or foe, Louis Blériot

Of course, as a country heading for war, the last thing we needed was for the enemy to know what we had been looking at and, as such, in the short term, we played the secret-services participation down. At the same time as the gun-parts affair was going on, we were working with the FBI, CIA and US Customs. The Americans had discovered that a military electrical company was supplying computer chips to the Iraqis for their fighter aircraft. The chips were for the aircrafts’ weapons system called the IFFIdentification: Friend or Foe. Basically, plane A sends out an automated signal to plane B. Plane B sends an automated reply to plane A. If the reply is coded correctly, then plane A’s weapon system does not deploy because plane B has identified itself as friendly. If the code is incorrect, then plane A deploys its weapons and plane B becomes toast ASAP and there’s sweet FA it can do about it. So it was rather obvious why Saddam Hussein’s air force (as small as it was) wanted to load up these chips and become untouchable by faking friendly code responses.


pages: 375 words: 111,615

Operation Chastise: The RAF's Most Brilliant Attack of World War II by Max Hastings

Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, IFF: identification friend or foe

Abbreviations Used in the Text AOC – Air Officer Commanding ATS – Auxiliary Territorial Service; women’s branch of the army CAS – Chief of the Air Staff; head of the RAF C-in-C – Commander-in-Chief CO – Squadron commanding officer Gee – Electronic navigation aid, detecting a grid of radio signals transmitted from the UK, fitted to all Bomber Command aircraft but jammed by the Germans over continental Europe HCU – Heavy Conversion Unit IFFIdentification Friend or Foe: electronic radar-pulse identification device fitted to all British aircraft MAP – Ministry of Aircraft Production MEW – Ministry of Economic Warfare OTU – Operational Training Unit RAAF – Royal Australian Air Force RAFVR – Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve RCAF – Royal Canadian Air Force RNZAF – Royal New Zealand Air Force SASO – Senior Air Staff Officer; comparable to an army or divisional commander’s chief of staff USAAF – United States Army Air Force WAAF – Women’s Auxiliary Air Force; thus a woman serving at an RAF station would be described as a ‘Waaf’ w/op – Wireless-operator Narrative of operations uses a twenty-four-hour clock, while the twelve-hour civilian clock is used for other timings.


pages: 537 words: 149,628

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer, August Cole

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, augmented reality, British Empire, digital map, energy security, Firefox, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Google Glasses, IFF: identification friend or foe, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, MITM: man-in-the-middle, new economy, old-boy network, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, trade route, Wall-E, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day, zero-sum game

It was the kind of beauty that unexpectedly wormed its way into the experience of war. “Captain, visual IFF signal just confirmed it’s ours,” said Seaman Eric Shear. Simmons took the oversize binoculars. There was an electronic icon in the viewfinder that prompted him to turn to the port side and look slightly up toward the incoming plane, three miles out and closing quickly. A repeating triple dash of lights confirmed the IFF — the identification, friend or foe — signal. “We’d be dead by now if it wasn’t,” said Simmons. “Get the recovery crew ready.” “Already standing by, sir,” said Shear. The form of a gray General Atomics Avenger stealth drone appeared behind the lights. It moved fast and low, lower than any human pilot would dare take a plane, fifteen feet above the sea, the splash from the highest waves licking at its underbelly.


pages: 1,800 words: 596,972

The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Farzad Bazoft, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, IFF: identification friend or foe, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, Ronald Reagan, the market place, Thomas L Friedman, Transnistria, unemployed young men, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

After the second door, I walked into a tropical smelter, the familiar grey monochrome sea sloshing below the deck. How can men work in this and remain rational? Or—more to the point—how could the Iraqis and Iranians fight in this sweltering air and remain sane? “There’s Sharjah airport,” the radar officer said, and fixed the beam. “I’m listening to a plane landing now—commercial flight—but if I want to know about a specific plane, I ask for an IFF [identification, friend or foe?] and talk to Sharjah control.” There were boards and charts and crayon marks on war-zone lines. The USS Reid —part of Reagan’s Gulf flotilla—had just cut across the Iraqi “exclusion zone.” So much for Stark’s insistence that it stayed outside. Two Soviet Natyaclass minesweepers and a submarine depot ship were listed as outside the Hormuz Strait. Two British Hong Kong–registered ships were waiting for us on the return journey.