Leonardo used EW Europe to officially launch latest members in suite of mission solutions
At EW Europe in London, Leonardo officially launched the BriteCloud 218 Digital RF Memory (DRFM) Countermeasure solution for fast air platforms as well as the BriteEye defensive aids suite.
BriteCloud 218 has already undergone flight tests with the Royal Danish Air Force on board an F-16 jet in order to collect ‘essential data’ ahead of the company’s final development of the technology.
Speaking to MONS ahead of the EW Europe event on 6 June 2017, company officials described how the BriteCloud 218 had been designed for integration on board F-15 and F-16 jets across the international market. Leonardo has already designed the BriteCloud 55 variant which is currently being evaluated by the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) on board Tornado jets.
Leonardo Vice President for Sales in Electronic Warfare, Dave Appleby, explained how the 218 variant had been designed to fit flare additional cartridge launcher types beyond the 55mm configuration, providing the company with greater capacity to upgrade a wider inventory of aircraft.
BriteCloud 218 retains the same capabilities of the 55 variant, comprising a Radio Frequency (RF) device launched by a pilot when “…facing attack from radar-guided missiles,” Leonardo literature explains.
“Its on-board computer uses the latest EW frequency-spoofing techniques to protect pilots from the most sophisticated modern missles,” Leonardo confirmed.
Appleby described ongoing collaboration with the RAF’s Rapid Capabilites Office with regards to further development of the BriteCloud 55, which includes ‘operational’ trials in ‘realistic environments’.
“We have also got interest from export customers,” Appleby added while referencing the wider global community of F-15 and F-16 customers.
Describing proliferating requirements for BriteCloud capabilities, Appleby highlighted the, “growing presence of long range, strategic surface-to-air missiles (SAMs),” capable of being launched, “hundreds of kilometres.”
“Pilots can’t stand back. They have to operate in those Threat Engagement Zones and BriteCloud provides them with persistence in operations and graduated effects on board the platform. Up to 100 BriteCloud units can be integrated on board a jet aircraft,” Appleby concluded although he was unable to disclose how many SAMs could be simultaneously countered by BriteCloud during a single mission.
BriteEye, according to Leonardo, comprises an ‘affordable’ defensive aids suite featuring capability to detect RF threats as well as launching of relevant countermeasures to defeat them.
“BriteEye uses proven technology from Leonardo’s SEER radar warning receiver to detect RF threats and can then automatically cue countermeasures from an integrated countermeasure dispensing system (CMDS) including flares and BriteCloud expendable radar-jamming decoy,” a company statement reads.
The solution has been designed for light fighter aircraft as well as ISR aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, Leonardo confirmed.