Team Pellonia To Protect UK Aircraft Fleets From Missile Threats

RAF’s new Wedgetail airborne early warning platform
The RAF’s new Wedgetail airborne early warning platform will benefit from the Team Pellonia-developed defensive aids system.
Credit: Boeing

FARNBOROUGH–An industry team comprising Leonardo UK, Thales UK and Chemring have partnered with the UK Defense Ministry on the development of next-generation aircraft survivability equipment. 

Under the partnering arrangement, named Team Pellonia after a Roman goddess who protected people from their enemies, the companies will co-develop integrated self-protection systems for platforms such as the Royal Air Force’s Beechcraft Shadow intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and the Boeing E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning aircraft.

Leonardo will provide radio frequency (RF) and infrared (IR) sensors, Thales will provide an infrared threat warning system and an intelligence countermeasures dispenser, while Chemring will deliver the RF and IR countermeasures including active decoys and threat agnostic countermeasures.

“Survivability is at the heart of the UK’s operational independence,” says Air Vice Marshal Lincoln Taylor, the Royal Air Force’s chief of staff for capability. “As part of Team Pellonia, the UK MoD [Defense Ministry] will strive to ensure that UK next-generation air survivability capabilities are available to meet the UK’s air platform protection requirements.”

The creation of Team Pellonia builds on a series of individual strategic partnering arrangements between the UK Defense Ministry and the individual companies signed over the last 12 months. Leonardo provides defense suites for the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoons and the majority of the UK’s helicopter fleet including the AW159 Wildcat, AW101 Merlin and AH-64E Apache. Many of these systems feature electronics from Thales, while Chemring countermeasures are already widely employed across UK fleets. 

Defense Ministry officials say Team Pellonia will act as a “catalyst” to deepen this cooperation further.

The Team Pellonia integrated self-protection systems will use Leonardo’s Modular Advanced Platform Protection System architecture. Depending on the platform requirements, sensors and effectors could include Leonardo’s Miysis Directed Infrared Countermeasure, Thales’ Elix-IR threat warning system and also their Vicon XF Countermeasure Dispensing System.

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.