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NATO tests RFID tags to combat friendly fire

Evan Blass
nato tank

As modern battlefields become larger and modern weapons increase in range, the dreaded oxymoron known as friendly fire continues to plague sophisticated military machines. NATO recently ran a training simulation called Operation Urgent Quest that tested several technologies designed to minimize occurences of friendly fire, including illuminated RFID tags that are activated by plane-based radar within an 80-mile range. Since the tags are much larger than commercial versions (the smallest one requires 4 AA batteries), they are currently being tested on vehicles as opposed to individual soldiers. While the tags performed well under simulated conditions, they must be made smaller and more secure before they are ready for widescale, real-world deployment.

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