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BAE Systems to develop new RF airborne decoy countermeasure

Nashua, New Hampshire-based BAE Systems Inc. has been selected by the US Navy to develop the Dual Band Decoy (DBD) in a contract worth a reported US$54 million ($80 million) that was awarded last year. The DBD is a Radio Frequency (RF) self-protection jammer that shields fighter jets from enemy attacks, and is one of the most advanced radio frequency (RF) countermeasures in the world, says BAE Systems.

DBD will be initially fielded on the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Work on DBD will be performed at the company’s facilities in Nashua. Electronic Warfare (EW) is one of six Advanced Capabilities that will be pursued under the tripartite AUKUS Pillar 2 agreement by the US, Australia and the UK. The RAAF also operates the F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Expanding the capabilities of the company’s existing combat-proven AN/ALE-55 Fibre-Optic Towed Decoy, DBD consists of a towed unit connected by fiber-optic cable to an EW system aboard the aircraft. DBD can be launched by the pilot or automatically in response to threats, offering critical protection in highly contested airspace.

“With Dual Band Decoy, we are building on the ALE-55’s years of mission success as a high-powered jamming system,” said Don Davidson, director of the Advanced Compact Electronic Warfare Solutions product line at BAE Systems. “Dual Band Decoy delivers broad capability that can be installed on a variety of aircraft and is upgradeable to address future threats.”

The DBD incorporates the company’s custom integrated circuits, enabling higher performance and more capability with reduced size, weight, and power, says BAE Systems. DBD is an integral part of the company’s Intrepid Shield™ approach to creating a protective sphere around platforms in highly contested battlespaces using the full electromagnetic spectrum to detect, exploit, and counter advanced threats.

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