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Threat Agnostic, Guided Expendable Decoy (TAgGED)


OBJECTIVE: Develop a threat agnostic expendable decoy that has a guided trajectory, fits in a standard decoy dispenser and significantly improves the probability of decoy success over current countermeasure techniques. DESCRIPTION: Military aircraft can be attacked by anti-aircraft missiles that are designed to impact the aircraft and initiate a warhead. These aircraft often have a self-protection procedure of sensing incoming missiles and deploying an expendable decoy to lure the missile away from the targeted aircraft. However, once the expendable is deployed its trajectory is usually uncontrolled and the effectiveness of the decoy can be compromised by non-optimal positioning of the decoy and the aircraft within the missile seeker"s field of view. The purpose of this project is to advance decoy technology by improving the trajectory control of deployed decoys. A decoy with a controlled trajectory capable of interposing itself between the missile and the targeted aircraft, and presenting a more desirable target to the anti-aircraft threat, would significantly increase its effectiveness. In addition, guidance control opens the possibility to optimize decoy trajectories so that their effectiveness is always maximized. In order to achieve this advance, expendables need to be designed to include thrusters and propellant sufficient to achieve and maintain the desired trajectory, guidance command and control hardware, and an obscurant/decoy payload, while still achieving a form factor to permit deployment from a standard aircraft decoy dispenser (e.g. Navy/Marine Corps AN/ALE-47 Aircraft Chaff/Flare Dispenser). The allowable decoy trajectory needs to be controlled such that it is capable of progressively moving away from the aircraft it is protecting while maintaining a position in between the aircraft and the incoming threat. Once it is in this position, the decoy would then be maneuvered to draw the threat away from the aircraft. The goal of this project is to develop a guided expendable decoy concept, perform a trade study and an optimized system design, fabricate and test a prototype system, and transition the technology to the fleet. PHASE I: Develop a guided expendable decoy concept that fits into a standard decoy dispenser. The expendable should be approximately 5.8 inches in length, 1.4 inches in diameter and weigh less than 400 grams. Longer and heavier expendable designs would require justification. The company will quantify the benefits of their design using a designer's trade space for current/anticipated threats. The company will make a design recommendation and demonstrate the feasibility of achieving the requirements described above and will establish that the concept can be developed into a useable product for the Navy. The design recommendation and trade space will address capabilities such as flight duration, maneuverability, volume available for payload, etc. The company will provide a Phase II development plan that addresses technical risk reduction and provides performance goals and key technical milestones. PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the company will develop a prototype that demonstrates the guided expendable capabilities. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting Phase II performance goals and Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use. PHASE III: Upon successful results at the end of Phase II, the company will be expected to support the Navy in continuing the transition of the developed guided expendable technology through the RAPIER FNC. The business will produce a guided expendable for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment and will provide support for test and validation to certify and qualify the new technology in navy systems. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The guided expendable decoy developed also has potential to protect civilian aircraft.
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