Raytheon received a $96.1 million contract from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to produce 250 ADM-160 Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) missiles.
The USAF award occurred just prior to Raytheon marking its 2,000th MALD system delivery, and 10th year of on-time customer deliveries.
The MALD system is an air-launched missile with both decoy and jamming capabilities that can electronically stimulate and then neutralize enemy air defense systems. Raytheon produces the MALD-J jamming variant, and is also developing a system for the U.S. Navy. The MALD-J decoy is the first ever stand-in jammer to enter production.
“MALD gives fighter pilots control of the skies, so they can stay out of harm’s way,” said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. “We’re at the leading edge of electronic warfare, to defeat the most advanced air defense systems.”
Jammer variant of the MALD decoy will be able to operate in both decoy and jammer modes. The decoy and jammer configurations are key enablers supporting the Air Force Global Strike, Global Response, Space and C4ISR, and the Air and Space Expeditionary Force Concepts of Operations. MALD-J will provide stand-in jamming capability for the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems of Systems. It will be launched against a preplanned target and jam specific radars in a stand-in role to degrade or deny the IADS (Integrated Air Defense System) detection of friendly aircraft or munitions.
The contract for a jamming variant was awarded to Raytheon in 2008. It made its first freefall test in 2009 and passed its critical design review in early 2010. The first MALD-J was delivered to the Air Force on September 6, 2012. The same year, the Air Force ended procurement of the ADM-160B (Raytheon-built MALD without jamming capabilities) and is only procuring MALD-J versions.
In April 2015, the MALD-J completed operational testing, satisfying all requirements in 42 flight tests over the last two years. The Air Force has completed aircraft integration and the Navy is planning to integrate the missile onto their fleet aircraft.