Leonardo Aerospace has taken the wraps off of its new expendable electronic countermeasures decoy for protecting large military transport aircraft. Billed as the first of its kind for transport protection, the BriteCloud 55-T is designed to hide the radar signature of large aircraft like the C27-J, C-130, KC-390, and A400M and confuse the targeting systems of radar-guided missiles.
Ever since chaff was first deployed during the Second World War as a countermeasure against radar, there has been a continual cat and mouse game between the hunter and the hunted when it comes to electronic warfare. As soon as one group of engineers comes up with more sophisticated radar systems, another group invents more cunning stealth technology to foil them by hiding or decoying.
One recent example of this is Leonardo Aerospace's BriteCloud line of expendable decoys. About the size of a soda can, these little cylinders with spring-loaded airfoils contain a miniaturized radio-frequency (RF) jamming module. In the event of an enemy missile locking onto an aircraft, the pilot can eject the module and it will send out an intense electromagnetic signal that will blind the incoming missile radar to the aircraft and draw it off target.