Leonardo won a post-design support contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide in-service support for its pre-flight threat simulation equipment being used on the Typhoon, Tornado, Merlin, Wildcat, Chinook and C130J platforms. The five-year contract builds on Leonardo’s previous 10 years of support.

Leonardo’s threat simulation equipment is designed and developed in the UK in partnership with the MoD using state-of-the-art Radio-Frequency (RF) technology to provide a wide range of test capabilities. The equipment uses special RF-emitting hoods and handheld devices to target the particular platform’s sensors and simulates threats using radar energy while the aircraft is still grounded. By performing this preliminary check, the user gains increased confidence that the platform’s RF defensive systems are operationally effective before embarking on a mission.

The majority of Defensive Aids Suites (DAS) on air platforms come with ready-installed built-in-test-equipment (BITE), which signals to the pilot that the equipment is working as designed. However, throughout the life of an aircraft and with each mission it executes, undetected problems can emerge as the aircraft receives ongoing maintenance. These issues may not be identified by the BITE, meaning the installation is not operationally effective. Limited or incorrect information could then be provided to the pilot by the system, endangering the crew. Leonardo’s equipment closes this gap, providing improved capability assurance throughout a platform’s operational life.