The demand for air launched decoys is increasing and the latest generations fulfill the new demands.
Israel has been using air launched decoys for years and their extensive use has eliminated any doubt: efficient decoys are a key to mission success without casualties.
Decoys have gone a long way and Israel Military Industries (IMI) has become during the years a leading manufacturer.
Currently (IMI) is developing a new generation of its I-TALD air launched decoy.
Continued purchases of the existing version allow IMI to further invest in the advanced versions and these will be much more capable.
Since 1996, IMI has been the sole supplier of the I-TALD for the US Navy and the international market.
I-TALD is powered by a Teledyne CAE-312 turbofan engine, and is launched from fighter aircraft in order to suppress and divert enemy anti-aircraft batteries, in preparation for air strike missions.
According to IMI the I-TALD has excellent maneuverability and a 35 minute flexible pre-programmed flight path and profile based on a GPS navigation system.
I-TALD appears on enemy radar screens as a fighter aircraft, thus attracting anti-aircraft missiles and diverting enemy activity away from launching fighters.
The I-TALD has a standoff range of 160 NM and can fly in speeds of up to 0.8 mach at altitudes of 500 to 30.000 feet.
The launch weight of the I-TALD is 380 lbs and its overall length is 92 inches.
IMI sources refuse to be specific on the capabilities of the new version but are ready to say that the effort is to improve range and false target creation "in complicated scenarios".
Most specifications of the advanced TALD or A-TALD are classified but it is without any doubt a quantum leap in this field.
The A-TALD is based on the company's I-TALD air launched decoy but is very advanced according to the accumulated operational experience and this is very wide and diversified.
The A-TALD, is also powered by a Teledyne CAE-312 turbofan engine and is launched from fighter aircraft in order to suppress and divert enemy anti-aircraft batteries, in preparation for air strike missions.
According to IMI , the A-TALD is equipped with a very advanced EW payload that replaces the standard repeater used on the I-TALD.
The A-TALD has almost the same flight characteristics as the older version: a standoff range of 160 NM, speeds of up to 0.8 mach and flight altitudes of 500 to 30.000 feet.
The launch weight of the A-TALD is 380 lbs and its overall length is 92 inches. A-TALD has an endurance of up to 40 minutes according to altitude. It can be launched from 45.000 feet.
The A-TALD creates multiple false targets with different radar cross sections.
IMI will not comment on any of its future programmes but it is obvious that the success of its decoy systems and the growing need will result in additional systems that will be more efficient and more mission oriented. These systems will have to be bigger and heavier.
One thing is clear: with all the EW systems carried now by fighter aircraft, the role of autonomous decoys has not only not diminished but has become even more crucial.