RAF Shadow R1 Fleet to be Outfitted with Integrated Defensive Aids Systems

Image by RAF

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted Leonardo and Thales to provide an integrated defensive aids system (DAS) for the Royal Air Force. The systems will be integrated into the RAF’s eight Raytheon Shadow R1 special mission aircraft. The Shadow R1 design is derived from the Beechcraft King Air 350CER.

The RAF’s fleet of Shadow aircraft, which are based on the King Air 350CER, are operated by 14 Squadron out of RAF Waddington. Because of the ISR role of the aircraft, it may be required to fly through hostile airspace, necessitating protection from enemy forces.

During this time, the essential function of the system will be to protect the aircraft against the latest-generation of Infra-Red (heat seeking) missiles. The Shadow’s new defensive aids suite will effectively counter this threat, being able to rapidly defeat any incoming missiles.

The system consists of the following subsystems:

• Thales “Elix-IR” Threat Warner;
• Leonardo DAS Controller;
• Leonardo “Miysis” Directed Infra-Red Counter Measure (DIRCM);
• Thales “Vicon” Countermeasures Dispensing System.

“The dual-head fit of the Miysis DIRCM provides 360 degree protection and the ability to defeat multiple threats simultaneously by accurately directing a jamming laser onto the missile’s seeker, confusing its guidance system and steering the missile away from the aircraft. The integrated and optimised threat-warning/threat-defeat chain ensures that sequential incoming missiles are thwarted quickly and effectively,” said Leonardo.

Initial Operating Capability is targeted for early 2021.

(Press release: Leonardo)

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