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Raytheon delivers Miniature Air Launched Decoy to USAF


The Miniature Air Launched Decoy. A Raytheon Photo

TUSCON, USA (BNS): Defence firm Raytheon has delivered “an operationally significant quantity” of Miniature Air Launched Decoy to the US Air Force.

The MALDs will allow the USAF to reach its "required assets available", Raytheon said.

Raytheon was awarded a contract in 2003 to develop the system and had set its delivery target for 2010.

The Miniature Air Launched Decoy is a state-of-the-art, low-cost programmable flight vehicle. It functions as an integrated air defence system and reduces reliance on manned aircraft used for air defence purposes.

The system has been designed to "fool" enemy radars and save aircrew when an aircraft is traced. The MALD resembles a US or allied aircraft to avoid detection by the enemy's integrated air defense systems (IADS). A formation of MLADs in hostile airspace can "confuse and deceive" the enemy IADS.

The missile decoy weighs 300 pounds (around 140 kg) and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (930 kilometers). Presently, it has been integrated on the USAF's B-52 bombers and F-16 fighter aircraft.

The decoy has been designed to protect valuable aircraft, and is capable of counter air operations to neutralise air defense systems that pose a threat to the US and allied pilots.

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