Leonardo has begun deliveries of its new ‘BriteCloud’ decoy to the UK’s Royal Air Force for combat missions following the Ministry of Defence’s formal go-ahead for the new technology.
The drinks-can-sized countermeasure, which protects fighter jets from modern radar-guided missiles, will be available for use by Tornado GR4 crews in the near future The RAF will be the first air force in the world to field this new protective technology.
The acceptance into service follows a series of tests carried out by the RAF in the United States in June 2017. These live firings saw dozens of BriteCloud decoys launched from Tornado GR4 aircraft by the RAF’s 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron against high-tech radar guidance systems.
The tests produced a string of successful results which were then handed over for in-depth analysis by Ministry of Defence scientists at the UK’s Air Warfare Centre and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).
In late 2017 the Ministry of Defence approved the technology for operations and first deliveries of the decoys by Leonardo to the RAF will take place this month. The speed at which BriteCloud has been taken from the drawing-board into operational service is a product of Leonardo’s close partnership with the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office, which was established to get new technologies into the hands of warfighters more quickly.
BriteCloud packs a sophisticated electronic radar jamming system into a package just a few inches long. The decoy can fit into a fighter aircraft’s standard chaff and flare dispenser and can be ejected at the push of a button if the aircraft is locked onto by a modern radar guided missile. Upon launch, BriteCloud instantly powers up and its automatic jammer produces a ‘ghost’ signal to defeat an enemy’s radar, making it straightforward to use and able to protect its host aircraft even in situations where traditional chaff and flare countermeasures would be ineffective. The technology is generically called an ‘Active Expendable Decoy’ (EAD); ‘active’ because of the electronic jammer and ‘expendable’ because the decoy is fired away from the combat jet to create a large ‘miss distance’ for an incoming missile.
The Leonardo, Top Aces and Inzpire team, named Red Aces, has been down-selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to compete for a contract to meet the Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) capability. Team Red Aces is creating an industry-leading solution to provide a safe, highly representative live air support service to the British Armed Forces and its allies
Leonardo has been awarded the first European Defence Founds initiative, OCEAN2020, to boost Europe's defence capabilities, issued by the European Union under the ‘Preparatory Action on Defence Research programme. OCEAN2020 will see unmanned platforms of different type (fixed wing, rotary wing, surface and underwater) integrated with naval units command and control centres, allowing for data exchange via satellite, with command and control centres on land
Leonardo has been selected by the UK Governments Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to lead a team of local companies to build affordable protection technologies for British Army vehicles to counter the evolving threat posed by hostile weapon systems. posed by hostile weapon systems Under a Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) called ‘Icarus, the team will develop and demonstrate a way to affordably integrate ‘best of breed technologies in a category known as ‘Active Protection Systems (APS), preparing them for deployment across the Armys fleet of land vehicles
Leonardo has signed an agreement with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to continue work on the AW159 Wildcat helicopter in its Somerset facility. The ministry were looking at options to relocate the fabrication work for future AW159 helicopters orders – the export version of the Wildcat helicopters already in service with the British Army and Royal Navy – overseas
Leonardo has completed series of successful test flights of its Falco EVO Remotely-Piloted Air System (RPAS) in Bulgaria. The flight campaign was to validate a package of upgrades that extends the endurance and operational range of the platform for overland and maritime missions
Leonardos new Mirach-40 (M-40) drone has been authorised for operational use by the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments and Airworthiness (DAAA), as the national Military Airworthiness Authority (MAA). The M-40 is now ready for operations under a 3-year target drone service contract from the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), which commenced in January 2018, the company said in a statement Tuesday
RFA Tidesurge, the third of four new Royal Navy support tankers, has arrived in UK for customisation and trials before entering service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and being deployed on operations with the Royal Navy. The 39,000-tonne tanker can carry up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water in support of Royal Navy operations all over the world
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