New Selex ES Expendable Active Decoy BriteCloud Selected by Saab for Gripen Fighter
(Source: Selex ES; issued November 6, 2013)
Brite Cloud, Selex ES’ new expendable active decoy, is the same size and shape as a flare, is dispensed from a standard 55mm flare cartridge and is powered by batteries. (Selex ES photo)
Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, launched its BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) on November 6th at the Churchill War Rooms in London.

BriteCloud is a manifestation of new design concepts and technologies being applied to decoy RF-guided missiles and fire control radars away from fighter aircraft. The same size and shape as a flare, dispensed from a standard 55mm flare cartridge and powered by batteries, BriteCloud draws threats away from the host platform, generating large miss distances. With the technology behind BriteCloud already proven in tests, the system is scheduled for a number of qualification missions and flight trials to guarantee full operational capacity.

Selex ES also announced that defence and security company Saab will be the first partner to offer the new decoy as an optional electronic warfare enhancement for all versions Gripen, both new and existing.

“Having assessed its capability, BriteCloud will increase the survivability of Gripen, further enhancing the fighter’s attractiveness to customers.” said Pete Forrest, VP marketing and sales for electronic warfare at Selex ES, adding; “We’re working with Saab towards flight tests of the BriteCloud on Gripen which are expected to take place in 2014.”

BriteCloud is the technological successor to previous generations of RF decoys such as repeaters and Towed Radar Decoys (TRD). When a pilot launches a BriteCloud, the decoy searches for and counters priority threats using advanced DRFM technology. Incoming radar pulses are received and the BriteCloud’s on-board computer copies these pulses and uses them to simulate a ‘false target’ so convincing that the threat system cannot detect the deception. By doing this, the BriteCloud can seduce even the most modern threats away from the platform.

As an off-board jamming device, BriteCloud avoids the ‘home-on-jam’ vulnerabilities of on-board devices and allows it to put significant distance between itself and the fighter after launch, minimising any risk of incoming missiles detonating close to the platform. Other benefits include savings in cost and training compared to other systems with each unit significantly cheaper than equivalent TRD technology and easy to use and store. (ends)

BriteCloud: The World’s First Expendable DRFM Jammer for Fast-Jet Aircraft
(Source: Selex ES; issued November 6, 2013)
BriteCloud, a self-contained Digital RF Memory (DRFM) jammer for fast jet aircraft was launched by Selex ES on November 6th with the announcement that Saab will be the first partner to include the new decoy as an option for its fighter platforms. Saab will offer BriteCloud as an electronic warfare enhancement option on all versions of Gripen, both new and existing.

-- What is the threat?
Fast jet aircraft face a highly developed airborne and surface-based RF threat. Mobile SAMs with highly accurate RF tracking systems present a formidable threat when used in pop-up mode and many older systems have been retro-fitted with modern electronics that have greatly enhanced their capabilities. The modern systems are particularly difficult to counter and have an array of Electronic Protection Measures (EPM) at their disposal.

-- How does BriteCloud counter the threat?
BriteCloud contains technology sophisticated enough to beat these modern tracking systems. Compared to older-generation off-board products such as simple repeater-based active decoys that are only able to defeat legacy continuous-wave emitters, BriteCloud’s DRFM-based technology is able provide both Doppler and range obscuration. These functions allow BriteCloud to defeat chaff discrimination techniques and systems with range and velocity ‘gates’. Effectively, BriteCloud creates a false target so convincing that technologies designed to spot decoys are rendered ineffective, allowing a much wider range of threat systems to be defeated.

As an off-board jamming device, BriteCloud avoids the inherent ‘home-on-jam’ vulnerabilities of on-board devices where the jamming itself acts as a beacon. The self-contained nature of BriteCloud, which does all its processing inside the unit rather than on the platform, also allows it to put significant distance between itself and the fighter after launch. This minimises any risk of incoming missiles detonating in close proximity to the platform.

-- How will BriteCloud evolve in the future?
As it is programmable, BriteCloud will remain relevant as threats evolve and new threats appear. Selex ES’s Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) support for BriteCloud will allow customers to program the decoys so that they are optimised to identify and respond to the emitters and threats that are likely to be encountered during a particular mission, and in a particular region.

Selex ES has a dedicated facility for EWOS in Lincoln in the United Kingdom and, as with the company’s range of other electronic warfare products, will be able to provide a range of programming options, ultimately giving sovereign control of the techniques used to the end user.


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