The U.S. Air Force awarded Raytheon $34.8 million to demonstrate upgraded electronic warfare capabilities for the Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer (MALD-J) missile. Development of the new version of the MALD-J, called MALD-X, will be completed in 24 months, culminating in two flight demonstrations.

MALDĀ® is a low-cost, expendable flight vehicle that is modular, air launched and programmable. It weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of 500 nautical miles and an endurance of 90 minutes. It confuses enemy air defenses by duplicating friendly aircraft flight profiles and radar signatures. MALD-J adds jamming capability to the basic MALD platform; Raytheon began delivering MALD-Js in the fall of 2012. MALD-X will demonstrate an improved electronic warfare payload, low altitude flight and a datalink that will allow the weapon to communicate with other net enabled systems.

"MALD-X will build on the successful MALD platform to demonstrate the advanced electronic warfare capabilities needed today and in the future," said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon vice president of Air Warfare Systems. "MALD-X creates an upgrade path for the current MALD-J program of record and meets the requirements for the MALD-N, a net-enabled decoy/jammer for the U.S. Navy."

"MALD-X will allow the Air Force and Navy to quickly move on to the next generation of MALD, providing a substantial increase in capability and potential mission areas," said Dr. Will Roper, director of the Special Capabilities Office at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. "The program will provide the combatant command with a flexible capability that will address key needs in multiple regions of the world."

MALD. Source: Raytheon.
MALD. Source: Raytheon.