The Staff for coordinating military cooperation between the CIS member nations held a meeting regarding the problem of improving a joint system of radio-locating identification of planes, ships and ground-based objects on August 9-12.

Representatives of the ministries, departments and organization of the members of the agreement on radio-locating identification of planes, ships and ground-based objects equipped with transponders, which was signed on June 26, 1992 were invited to the meeting.

Colonel Nikolai Salakhov told WPS that the meeting was held because it was necessary to discuss issues linked with using radio-locating identification systems in order to prevent friendly fire on planes, ships and ground-based objects.

The officer said that radio-locating identification ensures the security of flights over the territories of the members of the agreement and prevents violation of the air border. The problem becomes more topical in connection with terrorism.

The delegates discussed issues, which necessitate working out a common approach to the implementation of intergovernmental agreements. A range of documents concerning the history of development of the Password system was circulated at the meeting. WPS presents a brief description of these documents.

The SC-1 radio-locating identification system was added to arsenals of anti-aircraft units in the 1940s. A bit later it was replaced with the SC-2. The USSR created and added to arsenals the Kremnii system in the late 1950s. However, this system had very low reliability characteristics. It had low noise immunity, which decreased the reliability of identification and the efficiency of anti-aircraft defense.

The US Air Force imitated signals of the Kremny system using F-4 planes during the war in Vietnam in 1965. This is why the system required improvements. Modernized modifications of this complex (Kremny-1, 2 and 2M) were added to arsenals of the armies of the Warsaw pact members.

The US created its MK-10 system in the 1940s. Later the US created the MK-12 system, which it continues using. The US is now working on the MK-15X system.

In other words, the whole world is split into two camps, which use the Soviet and US identification systems.

However, rapid development of electronic warfare complexes dictate the necessity of improving the identification system and increasing its reliability.

This is why the USSR started creating a principally new system in 1959 on parallel tracks with the Kremny complex.

Models of the new identification system were modernized several times before it was added to arsenals of the Soviet Army. Vacuum lamps were replaced with microchips, which is why the weight and dimensions of the new complex went down. In addition, the new complex did not depend on climatic conditions.

Testing of the new complex conducted in 1978-1981 proved that the new system met modern requirements and was not inferior to Western systems. The Soviet Army began the rearmament of its anti-aircraft units.

Radio-locating identification systems are the foundation of security in the air. The technical solution of radio-locating identification is based on the principle of active radiolocation. In other words, the system sends requests and receives replies.

The requester sends specific signals when it detects an air, surface or ground object.

Transponders mounted on these objects send encoded signals, which contain information about individual characteristics of the objects. The requester registers and deciphers these signals using a special key. The objects are displayed on monitors with special icons, which show their identification.

It should be noted that the CIS member nations passed a range of fundamental documents aimed at ensuring reliable radio-locating identification and security.

1. The agreement on radio-locating identification of planes, ships and ground-based objects equipped with transponders of the Password system signed by the CIS on June 26, 1992.

The agreement is aimed retaining this system is the joint radio-locating identification system in the CIS. Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine joined this agreement.

Two protocols dated June 4, 1999, and May 30, 2002, supplement this agreement.

Organization of reliable radio-locating identification and prevention of violation of the air border of the CIS became a very topical issue in connection with the creation of the CIS joint anti-aircraft system and the anti-terrorist effort.

Several jetliners were shot down because they were not equipped (or had deactivated) the transponders:

A South-Korean jetliners was shot down in the Far East in the 1980s.

An Tu-154 jetliners was destroyed over the Black Sea in 2001.

A similar incident happened to a Vietnamese jetliner in July 2005.

The coalition opened friendly fire at its warplanes and units 17 times during the war in Iraq.

A Tornado fighter (the UK) was shot down on March 22, because its identification system malfunctioned.

An F-16 tactical fighter (the US) was shot down on March 24. The fighter detected a ground-based radio-locating station. The pilot thought that this was an Iraqi station, and immediately launched a missile, which destroyed the antenna system of the Patriot complex. However, the anti-aircraft complex launched a missile in the automatic mode, and the fighter was destroyed.

A Patriot anti-aircraft complex shot down an F/A 18C Hornet fighter on April 2, as a result of a bug in the identification system. The pilot perished.

A group of the A-10 assault planes attacked marine units as a result of which ten servicemen were killed.

A skirmish between two US marine units and four friendly attacks on military vehicles has been registered in Iraq.