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US MALD-X program completes free flight demonstration.

| 2018

The Office of the US Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering's Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), with Air Force Miniature Air Launch Decoy (MALD) Program Office, and Naval Air Warfare Center Point Mugu successfully completed a series of free flight demonstrations of the MALD-X on August 20 and 22.

US MALD X program completes free flight demonstration Raytheon's MALD decoy is an expendable air-launched flight vehicle that looks like a U.S. or allied aircraft to enemy integrated air defense systems
(Credit: Raytheon)

This innovative and collaborative project builds upon the successful MALD platform and seeks to demonstrate the operational effectiveness and tactical advantage provided by large numbers of collaborative, expendable platforms highlighted with the completion of a complex free flight demonstration of advanced electronic warfare techniques.

"The rapid development and demonstration was made possible by the cross-service technical collaboration between the Air Force and Navy", said Chris Shank, SCO Director.

"The MALD-X is handing over to the Navy to complete system development and transition to an operational capability. The superb cross-service technical teamwork is an exemplar for future innovative projects." MALD-X's modularity allows the Navy to rapidly inject adaptive payloads and capabilities into as yet unknown future mission sets. 

MALD-X gives future warfighters the ability to focus on the nature of the emerging threats rather than being encumbered by the burden associated with making a system interact with mission elements and mission supporting actions," said Matthew O’Connell, MALD-X Program Manager. The MALD-X program is continuing to pursue multiple enhancements for the vehicle that would provide additional mission sets that will be demonstrated next year.

Developped by Raytheon, the MALD weapon is a low-cost modular, programmable, and expendable air-launched decoy that mimics friendly aircraft in order to confuse enemy defensive systems. MALD weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles and endurance of 90 minutes, according to Raytheon.

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