The U.S. Department of Defense announced that Raytheon is being awarded $32,9 million for modification to a previously awarded contract for Miniature Air Launched Decoy or MALD.
According to a statement, this modification provides for engineering and manufacturing development of the MALD for the U.S. Navy.
Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed in July 2021.
The MALD is a is a low-cost, programmable craft that accurately duplicates the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft.
The MALD decoy is a flexible and modular system that has the potential to keep aviators and aircraft out of harm’s way. It’s an expendable air-launched flight vehicle that looks like a U.S. or allied aircraft to enemy integrated air defense systems, or IADS.
The U.S. and its allies can confuse and deceive enemy IADS by sending a formation of MALD decoys into hostile airspace. Weighing less than 300 pounds, the weapon has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (575 statute miles). After it is launched from its host aircraft, the MALD decoy flies a preprogrammed mission.
In addition to protecting valuable aircraft, the weapon offers counter-air operations to neutralize air defense systems that pose a threat to U.S. and allied pilots.