At IDEF 2017 in Istanbul on 9 May, Leonardo announced it has signed up as the first company to partner with Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) Rapid Capability Office (RCO), which has been created to bring new technologies and capabilities to the front line, faster and in a more streamlined manner.
The RCO’s first joint project will see the RAF and Leonardo each invest in a project to develop the next generation of expendable active decoys (EADs), using Leonardo’s test-proven BRITECLOUD EAD technology. The RCO and Leonardo are also working to clear the BRITECLOUD EAD – the first second-generation EAD to have been proven in live trials, from RAF TORNADOs in March 2016 – for operational use.
BRITECLOUD is a radar jamming decoy for fighter aircraft that can be deployed from a standard chaff and flare dispenser. It uses much smarter onboard jamming techniques to protect aircraft from modern, sophisticated radar-guided missiles able to outwit older, anti-radar countermeasures such as chaff. The incoming missile is drawn to the BRITECLOUD and misses the aircraft by a large margin.