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Wed, 10 May 2017

Leonardo Partners UK Royal Air Force’s New Rapid Capability Office

Leonardo has become a partner of the UK Royal Air Force’s newly-established Rapid Capability Office (RCO).

The RCO has been created to bring new technologies and capabilities to the war fighter, in a faster more streamlined fashion.

The RCO’s first joint project will see the RAF and Leonardo each invest into a project that will develop the next generation of fighter jet countermeasures known as ‘expendable active decoys’ (EADs), using Leonardo’s test-proven BriteCloud EAD technology.

The RCO and Leonardo are also working to clear the existing BriteCloud EAD for operational use.

BriteCloud being manufactured in UK. BriteCloud is a radar jamming decoy for fighter aircraft that can be deployed from a standard chaff and flare dispenser.

BriteCloud is what is known as a ‘second generation’ EAD. First generation EADs were developed towards the end of the cold war. They used early jamming techniques that would not defeat today’s more advanced missiles, guided as they are by sophisticated radars on the ground or even on the missile itself.

 BriteCloud, which uses much smarter on-board jamming techniques, demonstrated its effectiveness in launches from RAF Tornado aircraft in March 2016.

The new collaboration between Leonardo and the RAF will see the two organisations jointly develop ‘third generation’ EADs; details of which are currently classified.

A quantity of BriteCloud decoys has already been acquired by the RAF with a view to writing CONOPS (concepts of operations) for the decoy, effectively a ‘user guide' for pilots who will use the countermeasure on operations.

BriteCloud is manufactured by Leonardo in the UK.

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