Navy F-18 tows fiber-optic decoy

NASHUA, N.H., 8 August 2005. BAE Systems and the U.S. Navy have completed developmental testing of the AN/ALE-55 Fiber Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD) on the Navy's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.

Aug 8th, 2005

NASHUA, N.H., 8 August 2005. BAE Systems and the U.S. Navy have completed developmental testing of the AN/ALE-55 Fiber Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD) on the Navy's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.

During the flight tests, conducted at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., the FOTD was subjected to more than 60 risk reduction flights to test the safe employment, endurance, and reliability of the FOTD under simulated combat maneuvers.

The Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) Block 3 program, which includes the AN/ALE-55 FOTD, will now begin formal development and operational testing. A contract award for the Low Rate Initial Production of the ALE-55 is planned for early 2006. Contract award for Full Rate Production is expected to follow the successful completion of Operational Evaluation.

"The ALE-55 development program will bring the Super Hornet superior RF self-protection capabilities for many years to come," said Captain Dwight Cousins, U.S. Navy program manager, "The Navy and BAE Systems team met demanding requirements in completing this development program."

The BAE Systems' ALE-55 FOTD is an integral component of the joint Navy - Air Force IDECM Radio Frequency Countermeasures (RFCM) system. It includes a high-power FOTD and deployment canister. Currently, the ALE-55 is slated for deployment on the F/A-18E/F aircraft.

"The ALE-55 FOTD is the first fiber optic decoy ready now to protect Navy and Air Force pilots," said Joe Mancini, BAE Systems' AN/ALE-55 program manager in Nashua, New Hampshire. "The team has completed technology breakthroughs in performance and has greatly reduced unit production baseline costs."

BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defense and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, combat vehicles, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. For more information, see www.eis.na.baesystems.com.

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