More
    HomeMilitaryU.S. Navy to Enhance Super Hornet Fleet with BAE's Advanced Decoy System

    U.S. Navy to Enhance Super Hornet Fleet with BAE’s Advanced Decoy System

    Published on

    spot_img
    An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to VFA-192 launches from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in the philippine Sea.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The U.S. Navy is set to bolster the defensive capabilities of its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet with an advanced Dual Band Decoy (DBD) system developed by BAE Systems. This move comes as part of a concerted effort to protect Navy fighter jets against increasingly sophisticated enemy sensors and weapons.

    A French Rafale F-3R, right, flies alongside an F/A-18E Super Hornet over the Mediterranean Sea.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    On May 15, 2024, BAE Systems was awarded a $54 million contract to commence the development of the DBD, a state-of-the-art radio frequency countermeasure designed to deceive and disrupt enemy radar and missile systems.

    F/A-18E Super Hornets attached to the Royal Maces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 prepare for launch aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the Philippine Sea.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The system represents the latest in a series of enhancements aimed at ensuring the survivability of the Navy’s aviation assets in high-threat environments.

    An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, flies alongside an Italian marine F-35 Lightning II and an AV-8B II+ Harrier in support of NATO-led activity Neptune Shield 22.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The DBD system will be a towed unit linked via fiber-optic cable to the aircraft’s onboard electronic warfare equipment, creating a broad capability that can be installed on various aircraft types and is upgradeable to confront future threats.

    U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets and Italian navy AV-8B Harrier II aircraft fly over the Mediterranean Sea.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Don Davidson, director of the Advanced Compact Electronic Warfare Solutions product line at BAE Systems, emphasized the significance of this advancement, stating that the “Dual Band Decoy delivers broad capability that can be installed on a variety of aircraft and is upgradeable to address future threats.”

    U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets and Greek F-16 Fighting Falcons train during Neptune Strike 2022.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The decoy builds upon the successful legacy of the AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy, which has been in service since around 2010 and of which over 3,000 units have been produced for global customers.

    Boeing F-18 Super Hornet” by ‘The Wanderer’s Eye Photography’ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    It operates by emitting a powerful jamming signal that mimics the electromagnetic signature of the host aircraft, misleading radar-guided missiles to target the decoy rather than the actual fighter jet.

    081101-N-0000C-001 GULF OF OMAN (Nov. 1, 2008) An F/A 18 Super Hornet, assigned to the “Blacklions” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, flies over the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during flight operations. VFA-213 is assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8. The Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group is on a scheduled deloyment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, and is focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States’ commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Johnnie Caldwell/Released)

    The introduction of the DBD system is part of the Navy’s comprehensive strategy, encapsulated in the Block III upgrade for the Super Hornet fleet, which includes a reduced radar signature among other enhancements.

    090715-N-6106R-287 ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 15, 2009) An F/A-18E Super Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 316 approaches for a landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. Carl Vinson is underway in the Atlantic Ocean conducting flight deck certification after completing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. The overhaul was an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle. Carl VinsonÕs nuclear fuel was replenished and the shipÕs services and infrastructure upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephen Rowe/Released)

    BAE Systems’ contract for the DBD will see the decoy initially fielded on the Navy’s fleet of more than 500 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

    F-18 Super Hornet at the Dubai Air Show 2013” by The best from aviation is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    This development is not without its controversies, as BAE Systems’ role as the Navy’s towed decoy supplier was solidified only after the disqualification of its competitor, Raytheon. The Navy had previously awarded development contracts to both companies.

    An F/A-18F Super Hornet performs a touch-and-go on the flight deck of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    However, a hiring decision by Raytheon involving a retired Navy technical expert led to concerns over the appearance of impropriety, eventually resulting in Raytheon’s exclusion from the manufacturing contract competition.

    An F/A-18F Super Hornet performs a touch-and-go on the flight deck of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Despite Raytheon’s protest and subsequent legal actions, the Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims upheld the decision to disqualify Raytheon.

    F/A-18F Super Hornet lands aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 77)” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The focus on electronic warfare capabilities and the integration of advanced countermeasure technologies underscore the Navy’s priority on aircraft survivability.

    An F/A-18F Super Hornet approaches USS Gerald R. Ford.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    The DBD system is set to play a vital role in this ongoing effort, representing a leap forward in the protection of military aircraft and the defensive posture of U.S. forces in contested global airspace.

    Lancer bombers and F/A-18 Super Hornets fly over the JMSDF helicopter destroyer JS ISE (DDH-182), front, and the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    With the contract awarded and development underway, the Navy’s Super Hornet fleet is poised to gain a significant boost in self-protection, potentially reshaping the dynamics of aerial warfare and underlining the United States’ commitment to maintaining its technological edge in an era of rapid and sophisticated military advancements.

    Relevant articles:
    Navy buys BAE Systems’ Dual Band Decoy to protect Super Hornet jets, C4ISRNet
    U.S. Navy Awards BAE Systems Advanced Fighter Decoy Contract, Aviation Week
    BAE Systems Secures Contract to Develop Cutting, Army Recognition
    Breaking news for airlines, aerospace and defence industry, FlightGlobal

    Latest articles

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...

    The B-21 Raider of the U.S. Air Force Prepares for Deployment Despite Production Hurdles and Hypersonic Competition

    The B-21 Raider, the United States Air Force's new stealth bomber, is edging closer...

    More like this

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...