WHITE SALMON, WA, February 8, 2021 – Sagetech Avionics, an aerospace technology company providing industry-leading situational awareness solutions for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), announced today that on February 5th the DoD AIMS Program Office issued the world’s first 17-1000 Mark XIIB certification to Sagetech for its MX12B micro Mode 5 Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder. This newly certified transponder enables NATO and allied militaries to deploy Mode 5 IFF capability on small drones, protecting the warfighter against rapidly increasing unmanned threats from enemy forces.
The MX12B micro transponder, the world’s first to be certified by DoD AIMS to 17-1000 Mark XIIB, significantly expands the ability of NATO and allied forces to use drones in military missions.
Certified Mode 5 IFF Transponders from a Proven Military Supplier
“Around the world, enemy military drones are proliferating, and it is vital to distinguish between friendly or hostile drones. Mode 5 IFF provides the solution to this issue, but until now, manned aircraft transponders were too large for use on anything but the largest UAS,” explained Tom Furey, CEO of Sagetech Avionics. “The MX12B combines Mode 5 IFF functionality with ADS-B situational awareness in a tiny SWaP unit that is fast and easy to integrate. Sagetech has served the military with certified products that have flown millions of mission hours, so customers can feel comfortable they’re receiving bullet-proof functionality built on a heritage of military program performance.”
Over the past year, Sagetech has successfully performed live demonstrations of the MX12B interoperating with multiple crypto computers at the U.S. Navy IMPAX 2020 event, for the U.S Army, and for major OEM military UAS customers. With the new certification issued last week, the company has already delivered certified MX12B units to numerous customers to fulfill backlog purchase orders for new and ongoing programs.
The MX12B: Fully Certified to the Complete Mode 5 IFF Specification
The new MX12B is the world’s smallest certified Mode 5 IFF transponder, delivering 100% of the Mode 5 functionality from a package that is 93% smaller than traditional certified transponders. With all the functionality integrated into a single unit, the MX12B is easy to purchase, integrate, and fly on both unmanned and manned aircraft. Features include:
World’s first full certification to DoD AIMS 17-1000 Mark XIIB
Compliant with STANAG 4193 NATO IFF
Military Modes 1, 2, 3, 5 (Levels 1 & 2), upgradeable to Level 2-B Out
Crypto compatibility per AIMS 04-900(A), Option B (KIV-77, SIT2010)
Civil Modes A, C, S per RTCA/DO-181E
Integrated ADS-B In per RTCA/DO-260B
ADS-B Out per RTCA/DO-260B
Full power per AIMS 17-1000
Native antenna diversity for full visibility by space-based and ground-based ADS-B systems, configurable for single antenna installations
Flexible I/O: Ethernet, RS-422, RS-232
93% smaller than competitive products: 3.4” H x 2.5” W x 1.0” D (86 x 64 x 25 mm)
Weight: 6.7 oz. (190g)
Environmental screening: RTCA DO-160G, MIL-STD-461F, MIL-STD-810G
Included command and control software
ADS-B In situational awareness data visualization software available
Test and integration kits including test box and KIV emulator also available
The certified MX12B Mode 5 IFF micro transponder includes command and control software with optional ADS-B In visualization, integration kits, and test kits.
“From a technology perspective, we’ve used our military program experience and microelectronics expertise to take a traditional Mode 5 IFF transponder and condense it into a package that is nine times smaller, six times lighter, and certified to a higher level than the next smallest certified Mode 5 IFF transponder,” said Matthew Hamilton, CTO of Sagetech. “After months of rigorous testing to verify compliance to the full AIMS 17-1000 specification, harsh MIL-STD environmental testing, and data analysis by our team of engineers, we are pleased to have certified to the complete set of Mode 5 IFF requirements. Our new MX12B is suitable for any fixed- or rotary-wing unmanned or manned aircraft.”
For multi-mission UAVs, the MX12B preserves avionics designs across fleets through easy interchangeability with a civil version of the transponder, Sagetech’s MXS. The MX12B represents the next-generation of military certified transponders from Sagetech. Previously, Sagetech had certified its XPC AIMS Mode A/C transponder, now in service for more than a decade. Sagetech combined its microelectronics expertise with its military program history to create the world’s first transponder – of any size- certified to AIMS 17-1000 Mark XIIB.
Expanding Drone Operations of NATO and Allied Militaries Worldwide
Dawn Zoldi (Colonel, USAF Retired), CEO of P3 Tech Consulting, internationally recognized drone law expert, and a 25-year Air Force veteran states, “I’ve been in the ops center, standing side-by-side with a commander who has to make split-second life-or-death decisions on the battlefield. The ability to make the call on hostile intent under the Rules of Engagement in those moments is critical. Sagetech’s MX12B micro transponder will go a long way in helping military leaders and troops make the right decisions when it matters the most. This tech will not just enable our forces to prevail in complex multi-domain operations, it will save ‘blue’ lives. Now U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and our coalition partners will be able to more readily determine if an inbound drone is friend or foe and take whatever action is needed under the circumstances. This is a game-changer.”
“All currently certified aircraft transponders are certified to the older specification of AIMS 03-1000, Mark XIIA,” said Furey. “The MX12B is the only transponder – of any size – now certified to the newer specification of AIMS 17-1000 Mark XIIB.” With an easy to upgrade architecture, the new certified MX12B micro transponder provides U.S., NATO, and allied forces worldwide with all current and future Mode 5 IFF functions but in a form factor that saves at least 5 pounds for manned aircraft and drones.
Ordering and Availability
The MX12B is already in production, shipping to existing customers. The lead time for new orders is typically four weeks, depending on export licensing requirements. Additional resources for the MX12B transponder are posted on Sagetech’s website, including product overview and datasheet, explanatory video, an FAQ, and whitepaper, “Implementing Mode 5 IFF Transponders on UAS – What to Know.”
About Sagetech Avionics Sagetech Avionics is an aerospace technology company empowering safe flight in unmanned aircraft with situational awareness solutions built from mission-critical transponders, software, and related technologies. Currently serving military and civil duty on most small to medium UAVs, Sagetech solutions are mission-proven and offer decades of program experience, certifications, and millions of flight hours to deliver maximum value over the life of an unmanned platform. Today, Sagetech is expanding its technology platform to create comprehensive, certifiable systems such as detect and avoid solutions. Every day, Sagetech works in concert with its extensive ecosystem of OEM customers, technology partners, and resellers to ensure UAVs fly safer with Sagetech on board. Learn more at www.sagetech.com.
Products described in this communication are subject to export license restrictions and regulations including the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and the Export Administration and Foreign Assets Control Regulations. Further restrictions may apply.