BAE Systems has received a $36.7 million contract from the U.S. Navy to develop a dual band fiber-optic towed decoy (FOTD), which will protect pilots from advanced radar and missile threats. The FOTD will be developed at BAE’s facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire.

FOTDs are RF countermeasures that protect fighters, bombers and transport aircraft by luring missiles away from the aircraft. They also use deception techniques to disrupt an adversary’s radar, ideally preventing a missile from launching.

The dual band decoy development will expand the capabilities of the combat-proven AN/ALE-55 FOTD, also produced by BAE Systems. Much like the earlier version, the new decoy will interface with the aircraft’s onboard electronic warfare (EW) equipment, as well as having the capability to operate independently to enhance its effectiveness against threats.

“ALE-55 FOTD is a reliable, high-powered jamming system with years of mission success on the F/A-18E/F and extensive flight-testing on a variety of aircraft. Under this new dual band decoy contract, our focus will be building upon the ALE-55’s proven performance in order to defeat the threats of tomorrow.” — Tom McCarthy, Dual Band Decoy Program Director, BAE Systems

BAE Systems has built 3,000 ALE-55 FOTDs.