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Identification Equipment

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 15 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what forms of Identification Friend or Foe equipment which distinguish between friendly and hostile ground forces have been evaluated by the Ministry of Defence; and whether he will introduce such a system. [108851]

Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment contributes to our combat identification capability—how we distinguish between friend, foe and neutrals in modern joint and coalition military operations. This capability is delivered through a combination of three elements: Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (for example, the use of recognition devices on vehicles and the clear definition of areas of operation), Situational Awareness (knowledge of what is happening in the battlespace) and Target Identification (the ability to positively identify a target within the battlespace). IFF equipment particularly supports the latter. Distinguishing between friendly and hostile ground forces, whether from the ground or from the air, is generally recognised to be a significant challenge and, as in other environments, there is no single technical solution to the problem. We are seeking to update and improve our capability across all elements of combat identification and for target identification we will introduce in the second half of this decade the Battlefield Target Identification system and the Airborne System for Target Recognition, Identification and Designation.