Leonardo has unveiled the latest variant of its BriteCloud missile decoy family, the BriteCloud 55-T, which is the first expendable decoy for the protection of military transport aircraft.

BriteCloud 55-T is capable of protecting large military transport aircraft such as Leonardo’s C27-J and third-party aircraft, including the C-130, KC-390, and A400M, from modern radar-guided missiles.

The decoy will join the company’s existing BriteCloud 55 for fighter jets such as the Tornado, Typhoon and Gripen, equipped with 55mm compatible dispensers, as well as BriteCloud 218 aircraft such as F-15 and F-16, featuring square format dispensers.

BriteCloud 55-T is currently in its final stages of development.

“The BriteCloud 55-T variant generates a more powerful ‘ghost’ radar signature, drawing advanced radar-guided threats away from military aircraft.”

Designed specifically to protect fighter jets, Leonardo’s original BriteCloud 55 countermeasure uses a miniaturised radio frequency (RF) jamming module to trick incoming radar-guided missiles into missing their intended target.

It is currently deployed with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) on board its fleet of Tornado GR4 multirole combat aircraft.

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The BriteCloud 55-T variant generates a more powerful ‘ghost’ radar signature, drawing advanced radar-guided threats away from military aircraft.

It has been developed primarily for larger aircraft that need a more powerful decoy to mask the larger radar return that they generate.

The latest variant is capable of easily fitting into a jet’s standard 55mm chaff and flare dispenser or can be fitted to a square format dispenser using an adapter magazine with no additional integration work required.

Leonardo’s BriteCloud decoy has been designed and manufactured in Luton, UK, and is readily exportable with the 55 and 218 variants compatible with the majority of combat aircraft.