September 13, 2011 defpro.com
Babcock has been awarded a further contract to provide its decoy-dispenser units for the Eurofighter Typhoon – the advanced new-generation multi-role combat aircraft.
Under the latest contract Babcock will supply parts, and assemble and test over 200 decoy dispenser units during 2012 and 2013. The units are based on a design first developed by Babcock with SELEX Galileo in the early 1990s for the Tornado fighter aircraft, and the concept and technology was then incorporated into the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The Typhoon aircraft’s starboard wing-tip pod contains two Dispenser and Radio Frequency Decoys (DRFDs) – a defensive countermeasure against both air-to-air and surface-to-air missile attack. The system is part of the Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS) supplied by SELEX Galileo to BAE Systems, which comprises a laser warner, flare dispenser, chaff dispenser, missile warners, wing tip ESM/ECM pods, and towed decoy system.
Babcock modified the design during the early 2000s to incorporate the use of carbon fibre and lightweight materials such as magnesium and aluminium, and to provide controlled decoy deployment through a compressed spring ejection, drive train and capstan arrangement. The dispenser drive and centrifugal braking system controls the speed and length of decoy deployment, while electronic explosive devices are used to release the sprung decoy from the dispenser, and cut free the decoy cable after use.
Babcock project manager Rob Whysall commented: “The challenge in delivering the decoy dispenser system was gaining flight qualification for the onerous environmental, vibration and flight endurance conditions. Our experience in payload launch systems for air, sea and underwater applications helps us deliver these reliable, safety critical systems in support of the growing interest in the Typhoon platform.”
The latest Tranche 3A contract follows an earlier Tranche 1 contract for nearly 250 decoy dispenser units delivered between 2005 and 2008, and Tranche 2 contract to provide a further 470 decoy dispensers from 2008, for which the final units will be delivered this year.