Leonardo recently unveiled the latest variant of its ‘BriteCloud’ missile decoy family, the BriteCloud 55-T. We took a closer look with Jon McCullagh, the company’s Head of Sales for Combat Air Platforms.
The BriteCloud 55-T protects large military transport aircraft, such as Leonardo’s C27-J and third party platforms including the C-130, KC-390 and A400M, from modern, radar-guided missiles.
The solution is the size of a drinks can and uses a miniaturised Radio-Frequency (RF) jamming module to trick incoming radar-guided missiles into missing their intended target.
McCullagh explained: “The initial way of deceiving radar was to use chaff and that was developed in World War Two. Then people built jamming pods and they put those on the wings of aircraft. The disadvantage of a jamming pod [is] if you start to emit a strong radio signal from the aircraft, the missile will home onto that radio signal.
“What we’ve been trying to do now is take that radio signal, that jamming signal, and take it away from the aircraft so the missile is physically seduced away.”
He added: “You’ve got all the components you’d find in a full-sized jamming pod – so you’ve got a power source, in this case a battery, and then you’ve got the techniques generator and you’ve got the transmitter-receive chain to ensure that we’ve got the full gamut of capability.”