First MALD Delivered

We reported last week on its imminent arrival, and the Air Force on Monday did accept delivery of Raytheon’s first miniature air launched decoy in Tucson, Ariz., the company announced yesterday. This first unit is one of the MALDs being built during the program’s low-rate initial production phase, which began last year. “The warfighter now has an incredible new capability thanks to the hard work of hundreds of Raytheon employees, suppliers, dedicated Air Force civil servants, uniformed service members, and support personnel,” said Ken Watson, the Air Force’s MALD program manager. The decoy is a low-cost, expendable flight vehicle designed to duplicate the combat flight profiles and signatures of US and allied aircraft to confuse and fool enemy air defenses. B-52s and F-16s will carry the decoy, which has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles. “With this first delivery under our belts, Raytheon is on track to meet the Air Force’s required asset availability date of March 2010,” said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missile Systems vice president of Air Warfare Systems.