AN/ALE-55 Anti-Missile Decoy Begins Tests on F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

Released on Tuesday, June 3, 2008
F/A-18E Super Hornet
F/A-18F Super Hornet
EFC - Electronic Frequency Converter
IDECM - Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures
NASHUA, New Hampshire - The U.S. Navy has completed developmental testing of a BAE Systems fiber-optic towed decoy, and has begun operational tests on the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. The decoy is a key part of a system that will better protect military aircraft against enemy missiles.

The AN/ALE-55 towed decoy is part of the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) radio frequency countermeasures system. The Navy system provides a highly effective electronic warfare defense against missiles guided by radio frequency. Operational deployment on U.S. Navy F-18s is scheduled for December 2009.

"I am impressed with the progress the IDECM team has made with the ALE-55," said 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."

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

The AN/ALE-55 consists of an on-board electronic frequency converter (EFC) and the fiber-optic towed decoy. The EFC converts radio frequencies to light for transfer 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.

BAE Systems' has developed electronic warfare capabilities for more than 50 years with a commitment to protect the service men and women who go into harm's way to protect our freedom. BAE Systems' electronic warfare programs bring domain expertise in electronic attack, electronic protection and electronic warfare support. It combines experience in signal processing and data management with an in-depth knowledge of worldwide signal environments.


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