NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The United States has a robust electronic warfare capability. The aerial combat environment is becoming more and more dangerous as new technologies enter service. To deal with this threat, combat aircraft are receiving new countermeasures systems, including decoys.
Raytheon's Miniature Air- Launched Decoy (MALD) will meet part of this countermeasures need for the U.S. Air Force and Navy. In addition to acting as a decoy, this system is also available in a jammer version. The MALD has yet to make its combat debut, but opportunities for the system continue to present themselves. The U.S. military forces are involved in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, which could provide the MALD's "combat baptism."
Series production of the MALD is continuing. Deliveries of the jammer version began in the fall of 2012. Procurement by the U.S. Air Force will reach 3,000 units, split between the decoy and jammer versions. As U.S. Air Force orders fall, the Navy could begin to make MALD purchases of its own. A version for use on naval combat aircraft (the so-called MALD-N) could be available in the very near future.
Meanwhile, Raytheon is aiming to enhance the MALD's marketability by expanding its capability beyond its current decoy and jamming functions. Potential missions include missile interception, reconnaissance, anti-armor, stand-off strike, and aerial targeting, among others.
Sales to foreign customers could help to push up the MALD’s overall production totals, although Raytheon is still awaiting its first export order. Israel is a potential customer, along with South Korea, and perhaps certain NATO allies.