Reaper Gets Decoy

Raytheon is working with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems to adapt the latter’s MQ-9 Reaper remotely pilot aircraft to carry the former’s Miniature Air Launched Decoy, announced Raytheon on Wednesday. “This new offering provides unprecedented electronic warfare capability, enabling remote, unmanned suppression of enemy air defenses,” explained Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s air warfare systems vice president, in the company’s Feb. 13 release. The two companies finished ground tests with a MALD-equipped Reaper at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ flight facility in Palmdale, Calif., in November; they expect to complete the integration later this year, states the release. “Integrating MALD weaponry on remotely piloted aircraft systems is integral to maintaining air superiority in today’s and tomorrow’s conflicts,” added Schulte. MALD is designed to confuse enemy air defenses by mimicking the profiles of strike aircraft in flight. The Air Force has already cleared the decoy for combat on the B-52 and F-16.