Sanders Demonstrates Fast Deployability of IDECM Fiber Optic Towed Decoys
NASHUA, NH, April 26th, 1999 -- Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company, has successfully completed the first airborne fast-deploy test of production representative Fiber Optic Towed Decoys (FOTD) and their launch canisters. Decoys are a key part of Sanders' Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) Radio Frequency Countermeasures (RFCM) program. The test occurred off the coast of Virginia from April 14 to April 19. During the testing, mass model decoys - virtually identical in size and weight to operational FOTDs - were ejected from their launch canisters, which were mounted inside a pod attached to a Learjet civil aircraft and a SAAB Draken military fighter jet. Success was measured by the ability of the decoys to quickly and stably deploy on their tow lines at pre-designated distances behind the test aircraft. Each decoy and its canister constitutes one "round;" the canister contains mechanisms to eject, pay out, and brake the decoy behind the aircraft, and to sever the tow line when the decoy is no longer needed. A total of six rounds were tested - four on the Learjet and two on the Draken.
"This successful test represents a major step from the laboratory toward operational use for this highly sophisticated system," said John Lydiard, Sanders Vice President for Countermeasures.
The FOTDs and canisters are being developed as part of the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase of the IDECM RFCM program. The Naval Research Laboratory was responsible for the conduct of the flight tests.
IDECM RFCM incorporates avionics, designed and manufactured by Sanders' teammate ITT Avionics and many other suppliers, and off-board countermeasures which include the Fiber Optic Towed Decoys developed by Sanders. The combination of high sensitivity receivers and off-board countermeasures will provide a highly effective EW defense for U.S. military aircraft against both current and future RF missile threats. The F/A-18E/F will be the first aircraft to receive IDECM RFCM, followed by the B-1B bomber. EMD is scheduled to continue through the year 2000, with initial operating capability of IDECM RFCM occurring in 2003.
Sanders is an operating company of the Lockheed Martin Electronics Sector, a leader in the design, development and manufacture of electronic systems for global defense, civil and commercial markets. In addition to aircraft self-protection systems, Sanders is a major producer of tactical surveillance and intelligence systems for all branches of the armed forces. Other major business areas include microwave, mission and space electronics; automated mission planning systems; and commercial telecommunications systems.