Sagetech MX12B Friend or Foe? Micro-Mode 5 for NATO Small Drones

Mode 5 is an air-combat identification system which positively distinguishes friendly from enemy aircraft, reducing fratricide. The technology employs spread-spectrum radio transmissions that are difficult for adversaries to intercept or jam and encrypts data with keys that change every few seconds.

The demonstration was attended by several unmanned military aircraft program offices: Fire Scout, Blackjack, ScanEagle, Shadow, Aerosonde, and Stingray. “All were highly impressed to see such a small package deliver full specification Mode 5 performance,” said Kelvin Scribner, Sagetech’s CEO, “and the MX12B’s FAA certifications mean military UAS can operate compliantly in civil airspace as well.”

Sagetech is accepting orders for the non-certified MX12B that begins shipping February 14, 2019, and for the military-certified version that ships beginning December 24, 2019. A non-certified civil MXS transponder with no export restrictions is available now. The FAA-certified MXS model begins shipping on June 21, 2019. For more information, email Josh Tuttle at [email protected] or visit

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