GEC-MARCONI HAS TEST-flown a revised design of towed radar decoy (TRD) for the Eurofighter EF2000 from a hack aircraft, with test flights to begin in August on the second Eurofighter prototype, development aircraft (DA) 2.

The EF2000 TRD is understood to differ considerably in shape from that deployed on the British Aerospace Nimrod MR2, primarily because of space constraints.

Two recoverable TRDs will be housed in the aircraft's right wingtip pod, probably above a chaff dispenser. The TRD will be deployed on a fibre-optic cable up to 100m (180ft) behind the aircraft, to counter active-radar-guided air-to-air missiles.

The EF2000 TRD is a relatively slim cylindrical shape, with fins, which deploy on release for stability, say programme sources. The recent GEC test flights were to ensure that the decoy's aerodynamic performance is acceptable. A GEC TRD has also been operationally deployed on Panavia Tornado F3 fighters flown over Bosnia.

The TRD forms a critical element of the EF2000's defensive-aids system, which also includes radar and laser-illumination warners and a missile-approach warner.

Source: Flight International