The U.S. Navy awarded BAE Systems a $36.7 million contract to develop and demonstrate a Dual Band Decoy capability to protect aircraft and pilots from advanced threats.
BAE Systems’ FOTDs [fiber-optic towed decoys] are radio-frequency countermeasure systems that provide self-protection capabilities for any aircraft, including fighters, bombers, and transports. The company’s Dual Band Decoy development work is intended to expand the capabilities of its combat-proven AN/ALE-55 FOTD.
“Our towed decoys enable pilots to execute missions in highly contested airspace,” said Tom McCarthy, Dual Band Decoy program director at BAE Systems. “ALE-55 FOTD is a reliable, high-powered jamming system with years of mission success on the F/A-18E/F and extensive flight-testing on a variety of aircraft. Under this new Dual Band Decoy contract, our focus will be building upon the ALE-55’s proven performance to defeat the threats of tomorrow.”
The primary role of the decoy is to protect the warfighter by luring threatening missiles away from the aircraft. The decoy also combines techniques that disrupt an adversary's radar, preventing missile launch from occurring. Much like the ALE-55 FOTD, the Dual Band Decoy will interface with onboard electronic warfare (EW) equipment, but it can also operate independently, enhancing its effectiveness against current and future threats.
BAE Systems recently celebrated the production of its 3,000th ALE-55 FOTD unit. The Dual Band Decoy engineering work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Nashua.