The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed an order with Leonardo-Finmeccanica to deliver mini-missile decoys for the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Under the £2.5m contract, Leonardo will provide BriteCloud system, which can be fired from an aircraft’s flare dispenser without the need for modification to the aircraft.
Using radar emissions and missile-confusing advanced electronics, the miniature decoy will be able to disrupt systems within radar-guided air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “The cutting-edge technology behind BriteCloud demonstrates the MoD’s commitment to harnessing and growing the incredible creativity in our Defence supply chain.
“Supported by our £178bn investment in equipment, these new decoy systems show that we are continually pushing the boundaries of innovation, making the most of Great British skills and brains to keep our Armed Forces safe from our adversaries.”
Leonardo's BriteCloud will undergo flight trials on RAF Tornado aircraft later this year. These trials will validate the system's performance against a wide range of current and potential threats.
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UK MoD Defence Equipment and Support organisation CEO Tony Douglas said: “The development of BriteCloud has only recently been made possible after many years of advances in technology, and shows how UK Defence, in partnership with industry, is leading the charge when it comes to research and development.”
The MoD has been working with Leonardo to develop the BriteCloud system since 2012.
To date, the MoD has invested close to £25m in the BriteCloud system through a project commissioned by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and managed by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).
The system is expected to be made available for Tornado aircraft operations by mid-2017.
Image: The BriteCloud decoy. Photo: © Crown copyright.