C4iSR: Air

DSEI 2017: Leonardo’s BriteCloud passes trials

13 September 2017

Leonardo has announced that its BriteCloud system has successfully undergone trials with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the United States in March this year.The Leonardo BriteCloud countermeasure. (Leonardo MW)The Leonardo BriteCloud countermeasure. (Leonardo MW)

The trials saw more than 80 BC55 BriteCloud countermeasures in the round 55 mm diameter configuration dispensed by the Panavia Tornado GR4 aircraft of RAF’s 41 Test & Evaluation Squadron against a variety of simulated ground-based threats. According to Norman Bone, chairman and managing director of Leonardo MW, the system was able to “repeatedly break lock”.

Analysis of the results of the testing is currently being carried out by the Air Warfare Centre at the UK’s Defence Science & Technology Laboratory, DSTL.

Bone said that the company is hopeful that the system will be given approval to be deployed on the RAF’s Panavia Tornado GR4 aircraft in the near future.

A Leonardo spokesperson said that the RAF was currently looking at integrating the BC218 BriteCloud – which is in a square configuration – on the Eurofighter Typhoon fleet, which comes with a smart dispenser. However, as the system has yet to be procured by the RAF, timelines are currently unavailable.

The BriteCloud is an expendable decoy that is launched from a countermeasure dispensing system, and is designed to protect fast jets from threat fire-control radars and RF-guided active and semi-active missile threats.

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