The decoy can be designated AN/ALQ-260(V)1 in U.S. Armed Forces service.
The U.S. Air Nationwide Guard has issued a “fielding suggestion” for Leonardo’s BriteCloud 218 Expendable Energetic Decoy, after the successful completion of the Foreign Comparative Testing on the service’s F-16 Combating Falcon fighter jets. BriteCloud 218 is a smaller variant of the 55 mm cylindrical BriteCloud spherical which might match the two”x1”x8” US-made chaff/flare dispensers, like the usual AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispensers put in on the F-16.
In line with the press release, the ANG “is assured that the decoy meets and, in some cases, even exceeds operational necessities, delivering an elevated platform safety functionality to 4th technology fighter plane”. With the fielding suggestion, the U.S. Air Power has now subsequently designated BriteCloud 218 as AN/ALQ-260(V)1, figuring out it as an airborne digital warfare countermeasure.
“It seems to be prefer it’s handed with flying colors. Now we have actually excessive curiosity and demand from different F-16 customers and different platforms, from NATO [nations] and past. We’re in shut discussions with numerous potential patrons” stated to FlightGlobal Wayne Smith, Leonardo UK’s vice-president gross sales, digital warfare. “Now we have constructed up a excessive degree of confidence within the system for Storm with the 55[mm] format, and now we’re getting the identical degree of confidence from the tip consumer for the 218 format for the F-16”.
As we reported in an in-depth story last year, BriteCloud is a battery powered, self-contained cartridge that gives an off-board jamming functionality that may be dropped just like the basic chaffs and flares, creating a big distance between the plane and the decoy so the missile and its shrapnel miss utterly the plane. In line with Leonardo, BriteCloud has the potential to defeat the vast majority of RF-guided surface-to-air and air-to-air risk methods, together with those that depend on the “home-on-jam” steering.
After BriteCloud is ejected, it begins to search for priority threats, amassing the incoming radar pulses and cross-referencing them towards a pre-programmed risk library. Upon discovering a match, BriteCloud’s on-board pc applies its superior algorithms to simulate a “false goal” so correct that the risk system can not detect the deception and distinguish it from the actual plane. “BriteCloud is considerably simpler than conventional countermeasures resembling chaff decoys as a result of its know-how permits BriteCloud to tailor its highly effective digital ghost sign to the particular risk radar, permitting it to defeat trendy, refined threats,” says Smith.
Leonardo is at the moment the one firm which succeeded in sufficiently miniaturizing the Digital Radio Frequency Reminiscence (DRFM) know-how to the purpose the place it may be launched from a normal 55 mm chaff and flare dispenser (“the dimensions of a drinks can”, as the corporate described it). With these traits, BriteCloud requires minimal platform integration because it simply must be loaded within the chaff/flare dispensers.
BriteCloud is being developed in three variants: BriteCloud 55, the 55 mm cylindrical variant already operational on the RAF Typhoons and that may equip the Gripen E; BriteCloud 218, the squared 2”x1”x8” format for US-made chaff/flare dispensers; BriteCloud 55T, at the moment in improvement for transport plane and helicopters. Talking to FlightGlobal, Smith stated that curiosity within the BriteCloud 55T has risen because the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier this yr, Leonardo disclosed that two Italian Air Power Tornados and a Royal Danish Air Power F-16 Combating Falcon visited RAF Coningsby throughout October 2021 for trials with the BriteCloud EAD. These checks additionally comply with the mixing of BriteCloud on the MQ-9A Reaper and MQ-9B Sky/SeaGuardian sequence UAVs. Common Atomics’ MQ-9 grew to become the primary RPAS to make use of BriteCloud, with a check marketing campaign in late 2020 that saw the Reaper successfully releasing a number of inert decoys throughout carriage and launch trials from the brand new Self-Safety Pod.