UK buys BriteCloud missile countermeasures
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has purchased 'a significant number' of Leonardo's BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoys (EADs), a missile-jamming countermeasure, for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). The company announced the contract, worth several million Euros, on 16 September.
Following the delivery of the countermeasure, the RAF plans to evaluate BriteCloud’s protective effect with its fleet of Tornado fighters and develop a concept of operations (CONOPS) for the technology.
The CONOPS will allow the RAF to characterise the behaviour of the decoy in realistic scenarios and determine how it will be used in combat. The RAF will conduct a series of trials on its Tornadoes that will verify and extend the operational advantage of the countermeasure.
The BriteCloud decoy provides digital countermeasure protection against surface-to-air and air-to-air radar-guided missiles in a package the size of a 55mm flare. The EAD is based on miniaturised jamming technology and can launch from a standard 55mm flare dispenser without additional integration.
The purchase follows RAF trials of the countermeasure at a US-based specialist testing range in October 2015. The trials were successful in demonstrating the effectiveness of the EAD against representative RF threats.
BriteCloud was launched in 2013 and is now in full production after it successfully completed trials on the Tornado and Saab's Gripen NG aircraft. Leonardo is currently working with other manufacturers to adapt their existing systems for use of the 55mm cartridge.
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