Electronic Weapons: Su-27 IFF Scandal


October 11, 2005: The case of the Russian Su-27 that got lost and crashed in Lithuania last September 15th gets curiouser and curiouser. The pilot, who ejected and was arrested by the police, was recently released after four weeks of confinement. The Russians say the aircraft, flying over the Baltic towards the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (the former German, pre-1945, city of Konigsberg), suffered from pilot error and equipment failure. Now the Russians are worried that their IFF (Identify, Friend of Foe) system survived the crash. That’s what the Lithuanians say, although the Russians insist that the IFF gear is built to self-destruct during a crash. Apparently not this one, and if the IFF unit makes its way to NATO electronic experts, the Russians will have to design and build a new one. The IFF units contain secret codes that enable friendly aircraft to keep track of each other. Their construction, and the types of codes they use, are top secret stuff. If an enemy gets possession of one of your IFF units, they can figure out how to deceive it. This is not a good thing. Then again, maybe the Russian IFF gear is due for an update anyway, and this incident will provide the incentive to spend the money to do it.


Article Archive

Electronic Weapons: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close