British Royal Air Force to receive new BriteCloud missile decoy

4 April 2018 (Last Updated April 4th, 2018 12:13)

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) is set to receive the BriteCloud active expendable decoy (AED) system for use in air combat missions.

British Royal Air Force to receive new BriteCloud missile decoy
BriteCloud decoy is a drinks-can-sized countermeasure. Credit: Leonardo – Società per azioni

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) is set to receive the BriteCloud active expendable decoy (AED) system for use in air combat missions.

To be delivered by Leonardo, BriteCloud has been granted a formal operational service approval by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) following a series of tests carried out by the RAF in the US in June 2017.

During trials, several BriteCloud decoys were test fired from a Tornado GR4 aircraft against a range of high-tech radar guidance systems.

The first deliveries of the decoys to the RAF will take place this month. The final protective measure is expected to be developed and manufactured at Leonardo’s Luton-based electronic warfare centre in the UK.

“It is designed to be launched away from the combat jet to ‘create a large ‘miss distance’ for an incoming missile’ and produce a ‘ghost’ signal to defeat an enemy’s radar.”

The countermeasure will be used by the RAF’s Tornado GR4 aircraft to protect from advanced radar-guided missiles. The countermeasure can be easily fitted into a fighter aircraft’s standard chaff and flare dispenser.

It is designed to be launched away from the combat jet to ‘create a large ‘miss distance’ for an incoming missile’ and produce a ‘ghost’ signal to defeat an enemy’s radar.

Since 2012, the MoD has been working with Leonardo to develop the BriteCloud system.

The decoy has been developed in collaboration with the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), as well as the Defence Equipment and Support organisation (DE&S).