While I seem to recall seeing a photo of a B1 bomber with a towed decoy system deployed, I cannot seem to turn up a copy. The artist's renditions are
plentiful, as are photos of towed decoys on static display. I even found a photo of a decoy in the air, but it was cropped to exclude the aircraft
pulling it. Does anyone have something like that stashed on their hard drive that they would be willing to share?
This comes up because a friend of mine saw some Iraq video footage back in December on MSNBC that showed an aircraft (he thinks an F-111) trailing
some sort of device on a long, thin line. I missed this and we have not been able to catch it again anywhere. I have read that this system has been
operational on U.S. aircraft like the F-16, F/A-18 and B-1B aircraft since the late 1990's, so it seems not unlikely that someone has snapped a
picture of it in action. The British have a similar system so it may well have been an RAF plane.
This is tougher than I thought. These decoys have been operational in the US arsenal since 1999 and seem to have a good track record, based on the
reports I have read. Still no photographs of them (or the European variety). Here are some quotes:
The ALE-50 is a towed RF decoy designed for the F/A-18E/F, F-16 and B-1B aircraft and deployed to the Kosovo theater with the Air Force. In
response to anticipated threats in the Kosovo region, WD's Survivability Division tested the decoy's effectiveness against threats on the Land
Range. As a result of this test, the Division issued a decoy performance update to all ALE-50 users operating in the Kosovo area.
Aviation Week & Space Technology (May 31, 1999), citing Air Force officials, reported that 30 surface-to-air missiles had been fired at B-1 bombers
over Yugoslavia. Of these, 10 actually locked on to the B-1s but were diverted to the decoy.
Thanks for the links, ppp. I was looking for a photo of an aircraft in flight with a towed decoy system deployed. I have lots of static display photos
of the US and UK decoys, and was hoping someone would have a screen capture, or the like, of something similar that could confirm what my friend saw
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