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AN/ALE-50 Towed Decoy System

Critical end-game countermeasure proven to defeat enemy missile attacks.


The AN/ALE-50 is a towed decoy that uses electronic countermeasures to lure incoming missiles away from military aircraft. It was created through a joint development venture by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Raytheon.

The decoy works by casting a larger radar cross-section than the aircraft it is protecting, making it a more attractive target to an incoming missile's guidance system. It has protected aircraft against radio frequency (RF) missile threats in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

The system can be used on virtually any airborne platform, and it is operational on the F-16, F/A-18E/F and B-1B aircraft. More than 25,000 have been delivered.

For tactical and large aircraft, Raytheon can also produce fiber-optic towed decoys, including high-power variants. The company is also developing a reel-out/reel-in magazine that would enable reuse.