Leonardo’s BriteCloud Cleared To Begin Foreign Comparative Testing In The U.S.

The Expendable Energetic Decoy shall be examined on US F-16s after the latest checks on Italian Tornados and Danish F-16s.

The U.S. Air Pressure’s Search Eagle Workplace has authorized Leonardo’s BriteCloud 218 Expendable Energetic Decoy to be flown on Air Nationwide Guard F-16C Block 30 plane as part of the Defense Department’s Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program. The operational testing program, first introduced in 2019, is predicted to be accomplished this yr, with potential procurement to observe.

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 traditional chaffs and flares, creating a big distance between the plane and the decoy so the missile and its shrapnel miss utterly the plane. In keeping with Leonardo, BriteCloud has the aptitude 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” steerage.

After BriteCloud is ejected, it begins to search for priority threats, amassing the incoming radar pulses and cross-referencing them in opposition to a pre-programmed risk library. Upon discovering a match, BriteCloud’s on-board laptop applies its superior algorithms to simulate a “false goal” so correct that the risk system can’t 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 expertise permits BriteCloud to tailor its highly effective digital ghost sign to the particular risk radar, permitting it to defeat trendy, refined threats,” says Wayne Smith, vice-president of gross sales for digital warfare with Leonardo.

Leonardo is at the moment the one firm which succeeded to sufficiently miniaturize the Digital Radio Frequency Reminiscence (DRFM) expertise 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.

Following the profitable checks of the 55 mm BriteCloud spherical, referred to as BriteCloud 55, Leonardo developed a good smaller variant referred to as BriteCloud 218 which might match the two”x1”x8” US-made chaff/flare dispensers. The FCT checks will use the BriteCloud 218 spherical, which inserts the usual AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispensers put in on the F-16.

An exploded look of BriteCloud 55. (Picture: Leonardo)

The most recent milestone for this system was introduced at Singapore air present. In the identical event, as geopolitical tensions within the Asia-Pacific area proceed to construct, Leonardo stated in a press launch it is in discussion with a number of operators internationally to improve the area’s greater than 500 F-16 fighters with the BriteCloud 218 decoy with no need to change the platform or carry out costly integration work. The corporate declined to call the nations concerned.

A recent press release from Leonardo additionally talked about that two Italian Air Force Tornados and a Royal Danish Air Pressure F-16 Combating Falcon visited RAF Coningsby throughout October 2021 for trials with the BriteCloud EAD: “Leonardo and the UK Royal Air Pressure have efficiently demonstrated new high-tech deception strategies utilizing its drinks-can-sized BriteCloud countermeasure, in co-operative trials with the Italian and Royal Danish Air Forces.”

The Italian Air Pressure fired BriteCloud 55 rounds from Twister IDS plane and the Royal Danish Air Pressure distributed BriteCloud 218 rounds from an F-16 fighter on the RAF Donna Nook air weapons vary in Lincolnshire. “The brand new strategies proved extremely efficient on the trials vary and the constructive outcomes shall be offered to different NATO nations in an operators’ discussion board”, Leonardo talked about.

In keeping with spotters arrived at RAF Coningsby to see the visiting aircraft, the Italian Twister IDS plane have been MM7036/6-06 and MM7023/6-63, assigned to the 6°Stormo at Ghedi Air Base. The Tornados used the radio callsign “Spera”, that means they have been being flown by aircrew from 311° Gruppo Volo of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (RSV), the Italian Air Pressure’s flight check unit. The Royal Danish Air Pressure F-16AM collaborating in the identical trials was recognized as E-598.

These checks additionally observe the combination of BriteCloud on the MQ-9A Reaper and MQ-9B Sky/SeaGuardian sequence UAVs. Normal Atomics’ MQ-9 turned 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.

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