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Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, launched its BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) on November 6th at the Churchill War Rooms in London.
BriteCloud is a manifestation of new design concepts and technologies being applied to decoy RF-guided missiles and fire control radars away from fighter aircraft. The same size and shape as a flare, dispensed from a standard 55mm flare cartridge and powered by batteries, BriteCloud draws threats away from the host platform, generating large miss distances. With the technology behind BriteCloud already proven in tests, the system is scheduled for a number of qualification missions and flight trials to guarantee full operational capacity.
Selex ES also announced that defence and security company Saab will be the first partner to offer the new decoy as an optional electronic warfare enhancement for all versions Gripen, both new and existing.
“Having assessed its capability, BriteCloud will increase the survivability of Gripen, further enhancing the fighter’s attractiveness to customers.” said Pete Forrest, VP marketing and sales for electronic warfare at Selex ES, adding; “We’re working with Saab towards flight tests of the BriteCloud on Gripen which are expected to take place in 2014.”
BriteCloud is the technological successor to previous generations of RF decoys such as repeaters and Towed Radar Decoys (TRD). When a pilot launches a BriteCloud, the decoy searches for and counters priority threats using advanced DRFM technology. Incoming radar pulses are received and the BriteCloud’s on-board computer copies these pulses and uses them to simulate a ‘false target’ so convincing that the threat system cannot detect the deception. By doing this, the BriteCloud can seduce even the most modern threats away from the platform.
As an off-board jamming device, BriteCloud avoids the ‘home-on-jam’ vulnerabilities of on-board devices and allows it to put significant distance between itself and the fighter after launch, minimising any risk of incoming missiles detonating close to the platform. Other benefits include savings in cost and training compared to other systems with each unit significantly cheaper than equivalent TRD technology and easy to use and store.