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A new version of the BriteCloud decoy for fast jets was launched. The technology was showcased by Leonardo following trials with Danish F-16 fighter aircraft.
BriteCloud 218 is a compact radio-frequency device that is launched by a fast-jet pilot when facing attack from radar-guided missiles. Once launched, it creates powerful electronic emissions that create a ‘false target’ and draw enemy missiles away from the real aircraft.
The decoy’s onboard computer uses the latest electronic warfare frequency-spoofing techniques to protect pilots from even the most sophisticated modern missiles.
Leonardo is the only company in the world to have successfully tested such a system on live trials.
According to defenseworld.net, the launch of BriteCloud 218 follows a trial of the system with the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) on one of their F-16 aircraft. The device fitted directly into the aircraft’s standard flare dispenser with no integration work required.
During the mission, the RDAF F-16 dispensed BriteCloud 218 in response to being locked-onto by a real radar-guided surface to air missile targeting system. The trial allowed Leonardo to collect essential performance data needed to complete the adaptation of the proven BriteCloud hardware and software into the new, smaller, 218 format.
The new 218 model, which adapts BriteCloud technology is designed to be compatible with aircraft that use this standard size of flare cartridge, such as the F-16 and F-15.
BriteCloud 218 is now available alongside Leonardo’s BriteCloud 55mm variant. The BriteCloud 55-model decoy (which is compatible with round 55mm flare dispensers) was already successfully tested with the UK’s Royal Air Force where trials with RAF Tornado aircraft proved the effectiveness of the product. The RAF has subsequently ordered further BriteCloud rounds to develop concepts of operations (CONOPS) for the product, which is the last stage of development prior to purchasing a system for operational use.