Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
18 March 2015
A pair of MALD decoy test units being carried by an F-16. Both the MALD and newer MALD-J look the same, although the operational decoy is painted in the standard low-visibility grey. Source: Raytheon
The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Raytheon a USD91.6 million contract for Lot 8 production of the ADM-160C Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer (MALD-J).
The contract, which was announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 18 March, covers 250 MALD-J decoys, and will be complete by 30 June 2017.
The MALD system is designed to mimic the radar and flight signature of a manned fighter or bomber, thereby confusing enemy air-defence systems. The MALD-J provides for an additional electronic warfare capability to actively jam enemy air defences, and is now the sole variant being delivered to the USAF.
The MALD-J has an operational range of about 900 km after launch, with its flight characteristics able to be preprogrammed to better represent a particular manned type. Its single Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-150 turbojet powers it to a surge speed of Mach 0.9 or an endurance speed of about Mach 0.6.
The decoy has been integrated on the USAF's Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress aircraft, although it can be launched from any aircraft that can carry the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.
Raytheon has also conducted deployment tests via the 'six-pack' Cargo Aircraft Launch System, enabling it to be dropped from transport aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. Further to this, the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle has also been earmarked for the system.
The system S-300/400 or Su-30/35 will be disabled when confronted with the aircraft equipped with this decoys ?
I think it's MALD weakness will limit the amount of missiles that F-22/35/15/16/18 carries, however, EA-18G will clearly be priorities MALD plane for SEAD missions and fool S-300/400, but for air combat, the MALD completely obstruct to F-15/16/35