The U.S. Navy and Raytheon have begun integrating the Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer variant into the U.S. Navy's fleet of F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets. The integration process will include a series of risk reduction activities and technology demonstrations.
MALD flight vehicle is modular, air-launched and programmable. It weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (about 575 statute miles). MALD protects aircraft and their crews by duplicating the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft. The MALD-J adds radar-jamming capability to the basic MALD platform.
"MALD will save sailors lives because it saturates enemy integrated air defense systems, causing them to attack the wrong target instead of attacking our aircraft," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Air Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems.
To ensure that MALD is suitable for shipboard operations, Raytheon is working with the U.S. Navy to make sure the weapon is capable of withstanding the rigors of taking off and landing on aircraft carriers. Raytheon is also leveraging MALD's modularity, enabling sailors to rapidly change the weapon's electronic warfare payload in response to threats.
Raytheon is scheduled to begin delivering MALD-Js later this year.