Indian Su-30MKI to be equipped with Israeli X-GUARD fiber optic towed decoy system

According to recent reports, IAF’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI is set to get Rafael X-Guard Fiber optic super sonic decoy system. This system helps to evade Air to Air, Surface to Air Missiles as per media reports.

X-GUARD is a cutting edge towed decoy solution for defeating advanced tracking radar, including monopole and Lobe-On-receive-only (LOBO) radar types. Towed behind the fighter aircraft, X-GUARD is deployable and retractable mid flight. The decoy can be integrated with EW suite of any platform as a high-value active suite component.

What Are Towed-Decoys?

First, let us understand the term “Decoy”. Decoy means a thing that intends to attract someone by deceiving them. So basically Decoys on fighter aircraft work in a way, that they will attract the incoming threat and deceive it towards themselves. And here the term “towed” means “to pull someone/something behind one object. So, basically towed decoys are such that they are pulled along with the aircraft and that decoy will be part of the EW suits of aircraft.

This countermeasure basically for the RF-guided missiles i.e. Radar Guided missiles. It works together with the aircraft’s electronic warfare system to provide radar jamming. In addition, it can also be used in a backup mode as a signal repeater, which allows it to lure incoming missiles away from their actual target.

Capabilities of Towed Decoys

Normal EW suits cannot protect from Missiles equipped with Monopulse Radar and LORO (Lobe-On-Receive-Only) Radars. These decoys are specially made for the same that can decoy and jam other radars along with especially these two. It can be used multiple times and also can be retracted. Also, it is not on the hardpoint, it is added by additional pylon on the wings. It can fly along with aircraft up to a speed of 1.6 Mach and can withstand the forces and acceleration of 9G. Due to this, it can also be easily used when the jet is cruising at supersonic speed. The connection is basically with optic fiber so the power supply is always high.

Advanced Tech-Security Upgrade

This technology for the Su-30s would be very helpful against incoming missiles of China and Pakistan. As of now it even seems to beat the PL-15 missiles. And after saving itself, Su-30MKIs can now take down enemy JF-17 or J-20 using its current set of BVR missiles. It can also target enemy radar and electro-optical systems using precision-guided ammunition and anti-radiation missiles.

Since the system is linked to the aircraft’s defensive avionics and EW system through a fiber-optic cable. It operates over a wide frequency range, to counter various types of radars and missiles. The decoy is retrievable and can be deployed several times during a mission. The fiber-optic connection to the aircraft allows accurate jamming.

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