U.S. Military Takes MALD-X Outfitted with Electronic Warfare to the Air
The modular, air-launched missile upgraded with electronic warfare capabilities completed a flight demonstration this week, DOD reports.
The military’s miniature air-launched decoy technology, known as MALD, equipped with decoy, jamming and now electronic warfare capabilities, advanced this week after a successful free flight run through. The decoys are used by the military to confuse adversarial air defenses.
The Air Force’s MALD Program Office and the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, along with the Naval Air Warfare Center at Point Mugu, California, successfully completed a series of MALD-X demonstrations on August 20 and 22, the DOD noted in a statement.
The Raytheon Company, manufacturer of the low-cost flight vehicle, spent the last two years upgrading the jammer version of the platform, known as MALD-J, to include electronic warfare capabilities, as part of the $34.8 million MALD-X demonstration effort.
“MALD-X gives future warfighters the ability to focus on the nature of the emerging threats rather than being encumbered by the burden associated with making a system interact with mission elements and mission supporting actions," said Air Force MALD-X Program Manager Matthew O’Connell.
According to the DOD, the MALD-X program will continue “to pursue multiple enhancements for the vehicle that would provide additional mission sets that will be demonstrated next year.”
The MALD flight vehicle is modular, air-launched and programmable. Weighing less than 300 pounds, the vehicle has an endurance range of approximately 500 nautical miles and 90 minutes, according to Raytheon. The company began delivery of MALD-J vehicles in 2012.
In July, the Air Force awarded the company a $96.1 million contract to produce 250 MALD systems. At the time, Raytheon had delivered 2,000 MALD systems.