September 8, 1999 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Raytheon Company has received a $41. 2 million production award from the U.S. Air Force for its ALE-50 Towed Decoy product line. The award is for the manufacturing and delivery of ALE-50 towed decoys and decoy launch controller kits for the Air Force's F-16 aircraft.
It is part of the third production lot of ALE-50 equipment purchased under an existing contract with the Air Force. The third production lot, dubbed "P3", was accelerated earlier this year to meet the Air Force's increased requirements in support of the Kosovo conflict. This latest award brings the total value of the P3 contract to $95 million.
This award adds an additional 1, 596 decoys as well as various quantities of F-16 launcher controllers, magazines, and isolation racks to the original Lot 3 contract, bringing the total quantity of decoys ordered under this contract to 3, 105. Some of the decoys being purchased will also support U.S. Naval Forces as part of a joint program effort.
The contract calls for hardware deliveries to occur from March 2000 to February 2001. Remaining options on the program could be awarded on an annual basis beginning in January 2000.
Additional Technical Information:
The ALE-50 towed decoy system acts as a missile magnet designed to lure enemy missiles away from the intended target.
The system consists of a launch controller, launcher and towed decoy. The decoy control/ monitor electronics and power supply are contained in the launch controller. The launcher, which holds the decoy magazine, can be customized to fit any candidate aircraft. The decoy has a 10-year shelf life and is packaged in a sealed canister, which also contains the payout reel.
The system requires no threat-specific software and communicates health and status to its host aircraft via a standard data bus.
In 1997, the system passed operational test and was approved for full rate production.