Andrzej Jeziorski/MUNICH

Daimler-Benz Aerospace (Dasa)expects to complete flight testing of its towed radar decoy this year, in the face of a continued lack of commitment to the project from the German Ministry of Defence.

Dasa has been proposing its decoy for German air force Transall C-160 transports, Panavia Tornado combat aircraft and as part of a domestically produced defensive-aids suitedestined for Germany's Eurofighter EF2000s.

Germany pulled out of the rival EuroDASS project for an integrated defensive-aids subsystem (DASS) which will be built into all other Eurofighter partners' EF2000s, and seemed intent on installing a lower-cost, domestically produced system, including Dasa's radar decoy instead.

The defence ministry has been considering for some time re-entry into the EuroDASS programme, which includes GEC-Marconi's Ariel towed radar decoy. The UK company says that the Ariel has now been cleared for the EF2000's entire flight envelope, including deployment at Mach 2.

Dasa has so far tested its decoy at speeds up to M1.4, which it says meets Bonn's requirement. It has also flown the decoy through "-every manoeuvre which could be critical" in flight tests on McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms and on Tornados.

The decoy will be commercially available by the end of this year and is now being marketed for export, although Dasa admits that sales will be difficult until it has secured a deal with the German air force.

The decoy works by receiving the emissions of radar threats and transmitting jamming signals to confuse airborne and ground-based radars and missile seekers.

GEC believes that it has the edge in the choice for the Eurofighter decoy because the Ariel is already integrated with the aircraft's DASS computer, which automatically chooses the appropriate defensive response to a detected threat.

Source: Flight International