The U.S. Air Force awarded a $96.7-million contract to Raytheon Co. for a third production lot of the Miniature Air Launched Decoy. Weighing less than 300 lb., the MALD™ is a state-of-the-art, low-cost, decoy flight vehicle that is modular, air-launched and programmable. It has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles.
"MALD protects aircrew and their aircraft by mimicking the signatures and combat flight profiles of U.S. and allied aircraft," explained USAF MALD program manager Ken Watson. "This contract delivers additional capabilities to the combatant commanders by giving them more options to shape the battlespace."
Raytheon has already delivered more than 100 MALDs to the Air Force, and the program is in continuing production. The new contract calls for Raytheon to build approximately 300 additional decoys, almost as many as have been produced to date in two previous production series.
Also, the new contract requires the delivery of the MALD-Jammer in preparation for the MALD-J™ initial operational test and evaluation phase, with production expected to begin in 2011.
"This contract showcases the reliability and capability of the baseline program," stated Raytheon’s MALD program director Scott Muse. "MALD can be certified on any aircraft with a 14-inch suspension carriage, and its modular design opens the door to numerous options beyond the stand-in-jammer, making MALD an ideal solution for the men and women in uniform."