Raytheon and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) are working together to develop a highly autonomous, unmanned electronic warfare capability based on equipping GA-ASI's Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) with Raytheon's Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD). With the Ground Verification Test phase completed November 2012 at GA-ASI's Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., integration of MALD on the aircraft is estimated to conclude in 2013.
"This new offering provides unprecedented electronic warfare capability enabling remote, unmanned suppression of enemy air defenses," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Air Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems. "Integrating MALD weaponry on remotely piloted aircraft systems is integral to maintaining air superiority in today's and tomorrow's conflicts."
When employed, MALD confuses the target integrated air defense system (IADS), and then kinetic weaponry is selectively employed to permanently disable IADS nodes, dramatically increasing electronic attack persistence in the battlespace.