Decoys on Target

Raytheon announced Wednesday that it has delivered “an operationally significant quantity” of miniature air launched decoys to the Air Force, meeting those deliveries on the timetable laid out in 2003 and enabling the service to meet its required assets available milestone as scheduled. “The commander of Air Combat Command now has the necessary quantity of decoys and support equipment to train, equip, and deploy his forces with this mission-essential system,” said Ken Watson, the Air Force’s MALD program manager, in the company’s release. Deliveries will continue to beef up the inventory. MALD is a low-cost, air-launched flight vehicle intended to confuse air defenses by mimicking the in-flight characteristics of actual combat aircraft. It is currently integrated on the B-52H and F-16 and is considered an important component of the US military’s airborne electronic attack architecture. Development of a jammer variant is underway with deliveries expected in 2012.