RAF tests Finmeccanica-built BriteCloud systems aboard Tornado GR4 aircraft


Britecloud Systems

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has conducted a series of tests of Finmeccanica-built BriteCloud systems aboard a Tornado GR4 aircraft.

A new generation countermeasure missile based on miniaturisation of advanced jamming technology, BriteCloud active expendable decoy (AED) system is designed to automatically detect threat radars and jam them.

Developed in collaboration with the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the Defence Equipment and Support organisation (DES), the completely self-contained unit features an in-built jammer to enable the aircraft avoid radar threats.

"This technology allows pilots to evade even advanced RF-guided missiles and fire control radars."

During tests, a series of fully operational decoys were launched from a Tornado GR4 aircraft against a range of simulated threats featuring real radar systems.

According to Finmeccanica, the tests demonstrated efficacy of the device to provide protection against the threats pilots encounter during combat operations.

The battery-powered Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) system is as small as the size of drinks can, and is designed for launch from a fighter aircraft.

BriteCloud can be easily dispensed from a standard 55mm flare cartridge and is the same size and shape as a flare.

This technology allows pilots to evade even advanced RF-guided missiles and fire control radars away from their aircraft.

In November 2013, Saab contracted the company to provide the system for the Swedish Air Force's fleet of next-generation Gripen aircraft.

The company is currently looking at expanding the application of the product to other platforms.


Image: The BriteCloud was tested aboard a Tornado GR4 aircraft. Photo: © 2016 - Finmeccanica S.p.a.