Raytheon announced on Monday that the company has been awarded a potential $33 million U.S. Navy Demonstration of Existing Technology contract to develop a modern towed decoy for the F/A-18 E/F over the next 27 months.
The technology protects pilots by emitting signals across extended frequencies to counter advancing threats, convincing hostile weapon systems that the real target is the decoy, not the aircraft. The dual-band decoy is based in part on design lineage from the ALE-50, a decoy system that has deployed in multiple military operations protecting both U.S. and allied aircraft.
"Decoys are there to bring a pilot home safely – period," said Jeremy Carney, director, Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems. "The dual-band decoy will look like the target, deceive threats and steer missiles toward it, rather than the aircraft."
Raytheon has delivered more than 29,000 ALE-50 units and will leverage ALE-50 aerodynamic performance experience and advancements in compact electronic self-protect capabilities to support the Navy's F/A-18 E/F decoy requirements.
"Pilots nicknamed the ALE-50 the Little Buddy during previous conflicts because it consistently saved their lives," said Carney. "The dual-band decoy will continue to do that in the face of modern threats."
Raytheon Company, with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 67,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 97 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5I products and services, sensing, effects and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries.