Leonardo has upgraded the capabilities of its air-launched BriteCloud 55-T active decoy, with the effort having been completed in conjunction with a NATO working group.

“New features include BriteCloud being able to swap data with its aircraft’s on-board self-protection system, maximising performance,” the company announced on 18 January.

Leonardo’s engineers worked with NATO authorities to define a new smart stores communication interface to support the decoy’s use. Dubbed STANAG-4871, the new standard includes the ability to automatically log logistics information such as air carriage life, the company says.

BriteCloud 55-T

Source: Leonardo

The BriteCloud 55-T decoy is intended for use by tactical transport aircraft

Carried within an aircraft’s standard countermeasures dispensing system, the 55mm (2.1in)-diameter BriteCloud 55 is in operational use aboard Eurofighter Typhoons flown by the UK Royal Air Force. The evolved and more powerful T-model variant is intended for use by tactical transports such as the Airbus Defence & Space A400M and Leonardo C-27J.

The expendable decoy uses onboard digital radio frequency memory jamming techniques to generate a ‘ghost’ signal to draw a missile threat away from its host aircraft.

Meanwhile, the company says it is “discussing test and evaluation plans with stores dispenser manufacturers to take place in 2024” for its smaller BriteCloud 218 product.

Measuring 2x1x8in, the design can be deployed from ALE-47 countermeasures dispensers employed by platforms including the Boeing F-15 and Lockheed Martin F-16.

The US Air National Guard in 2023 issued a so-called fielding recommendation for the BriteCloud 218, following an extensive foreign comparative test effort of the system from its F-16s.