U.S. Navy tests BAE Systems anti-missile decoy on F-18 Super Hornet

U.S. Navy officials are finished with developmental testing of the AN/ALE-55 fiber-optic towed decoy, which is part of the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM), a radio-frequency countermeasures system designed to better protect military aircraft against enemy missiles.

Th 0807mae News03

By Courtney E. Howard

NASHUA, N.H.—U.S. Navy officials are finished with developmental testing of the AN/ALE-55 fiber-optic towed decoy, which is part of the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM), a radio-frequency countermeasures system designed to better protect military aircraft against enemy missiles.

The AN/ALE-55, from BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H., was designed to provide electronic warfare capabilities to aircraft to defend against radar-guided missiles. Navy personnel have started testing the new decoy on F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet jet fighter-bombers.

Completing developmental testing and entering into operational evaluation “is a tremendous accomplishment for the IDECM team,” explains Joe Mancini, BAE Systems IDECM program manager in Nashua, N.H. “It brings the AN/ALE-55 one step closer to deployment, providing aircrews with the self-protection they need.”


Lorraine Hudon, a BAE Systems technician, adjusts the fins on the AN/ALE-55 fiber-optic towed decoy.
Click here to enlarge image

The AN/ALE-55 combines an on-board electronic frequency converter (EFC) and fiber-optic towed decoy. The EFC converts radio frequencies to light, and sends the data through a fiber-optic line to the decoy.

IDECM links the aircraft’s expendable countermeasures, radar warning system, mission computer, and radio-frequency countermeasures system into a unified defensive suite, says a company representative.

“I am impressed with the progress the IDECM team has made with the ALE-55,” comments Navy Capt. William Chubb, program manager for advanced tactical aircraft protection systems. “Its performance during development testing clearly demonstrates the potential of the ALE-55 decoy to provide required improvements to aircrew survivability.”

For more information, visit BAE Systems online at www.baesystems.com.

More in Computers