New Decoy System For RAF Combat Jets

The BriteCloud miniature decoy will protect RAF combat jets from missiles.

21 September 2016

The UK Ministry of Defence (MdD) has placed a £2.5 million order for UK-designed and built miniature decoys to protect combat jets from missiles. Packed with missile-confusing advanced electronics, BriteCloud can be fired from an aircraft’s flare dispenser without the need for modification to the aircraft.

BriteCloud is much easier to install on a variety of aircraft than previous bulkier decoy systems, because it can be used from existing countermeasure dispensers such as flare launchers,” stated Wing Commander Matthew Tandy, Protection of Air Operations Desk Office for the Royal Air Force.  “Although the devices are highly advanced, they are straightforward to use. They can be easily re-programmed during operations to defeat new threats as they are encountered, giving the RAF an important advantage in engagements.”

This new £2.5 million batch order will allow the RAF to explore how BriteCloud could best be deployed operationally. If successful, the system could be available for Tornado aircraft operations by mid-2017. 

BriteCloud, which is designed and manufactured in Bedfordshire and Scotland by Leonardo-Finmeccanica, will undergo flight trials on RAF Tornado aircraft later this year. Once deployed, it uses powerful radar emissions to disrupt systems within radar-guided air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

A pilot can launch the compact unit, which is packed with advanced electronics, to confuse an attacking missile, drawing it away to a point where it no longer poses a threat. making the most of Great British skills and brains to keep our Armed Forces safe from our adversaries.Chief Executive Officer at the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Tony Douglas stated that flight trials planned for later this year will test the system’s effectiveness against a wide range of current and potential

The MoD has been working with Leonardo-Finmeccanica to develop the BriteCloud system since 2012. Other companies in the supply chain include Chemring, based in  Whiteley, Hampshire, and QinetiQ, based in Farnborough, Hampshire, and Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. To date, the MoD has invested around £25 million in the BriteCloud system  through a project commissioned by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and managed by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).