Singapore Airshow: X factor

Rafael showcase towed decoy

Towed Radio Frequency (RF) decoys have been exhibited at this year’s Singapore Air Show, held in the city between 6th to 9th February, including Rafael Advanced Defence Systems’ X-Guard.

The company states that the decoy is designed to equip combat aircraft and to provide a countermeasure which will emit RF energy using specific waveforms and propagation techniques to render the decoy a more attractive target to an Active/Semi-Active Radar Homing (S/ARH) Surface-to-Air/Air-to-Air Missile (SAM/AAM) than the aircraft itself. The X-Guard is positioned in a pod which can be carried on a combat aircraft’s fuselage or wing hardpoint, with the decoy being attached to the pod by means of a fibre optic cable of a classified length. Similarly, the frequencies at which the pod operates are classified, although it is reasonable to assume that these could encompass an array of X-band (8.5 gigahertz/GHz to 10.68GHz) and millimetre wave frequencies in the 13.4GHz to 36GHz range which includes a wide array of RF seeker heads and radars used by S/ARH SAMs and AAMs.

When not in use, the decoy can be reeled back into the pod, or alternatively jettisoned before an aircraft lands. Should the decoy be destroyed by a missile, a new decoy can be installed on the system. While confirming that the X-Guard is operational, Rafael officials demurred from stating upon which platforms, although indications on company literature that the decoy can equip Dassault Mirage-2000 and SEPECAT Jaguar family combat aircraft has resulted in speculation that it may be in service with the Indian Air Force.

Thomas Withington

 

Publish date

02/07/2018

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