Friendly fire 'a thing of the past'

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The Independent Online
Trials of revolutionary identification systems which could herald the end of "friendly fire" incidents which tragically marred victory in the Gulf War are under way this week. Friendly fire incidents accounted for almost a fifth of the 615 allied personnel killed or injured in the Gulf.

Western governments acknowledge that it is no longer politically acceptable to see troops killed by their own side, and now, after years of laboratory work, Britain, the US, France and Germany are testing different solutions for a battlefield Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system.

The British system has been developed by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency together with GEC-Marconi and St Andrew's University. It is planned to fit all friendly vehicles with a transmitter emitting a low-power laser or millimetre wave signal and a receiver.

Trials of aircraft systems are due to take place in the US at the end of the year.