Raytheon to manufacture MALD-N for the US Navy

The ADM-160 Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) is a decoy missile originally developed by Teledyne Ryan (ADM-160A) and later by Raytheon (ADM-160B).

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is to issue sole-source award for the production of the Raytheon Miniature Air Launched Decoy – Navy (MALD-N) reported Janes Magazine.

The MALD-N is based on the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) ADM-160C MALD-Jammer (MALD-J) system. The US Navy poised to order 250 MALD-N systems in fiscal year (FY) 2021 and 2022.

The MALD decoy is an expendable air-launched flight vehicle that looks like a U.S. or allied aircraft to enemy integrated air defense systems.

According to the Pentagon announcement, Raytheon Missile Systems is awarded a modification, worth around $112.3 million, to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract. This modification provides non-recurring engineering support throughout the engineering and manufacturing development phase as well as through payload integration and transition to production for the MALD-N.

Work will be performed in Tucson (65%); and Goleta, California (35%), and is expected to be completed in September 2022. The Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVSEA) based at Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

In its baseline form, 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 the basis for the US Navy’s (USN’s) MALD-N derivative.

MALD-J is the radar jamming variant of MALD developed by Raytheon. MALD-J will provide stand-in jamming capability for the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems of Systems. It will be launched against a preplanned target and jam specific radars in a stand-in role to degrade or deny the IADS detection of friendly aircraft or munitions.

As previously related to Jane’s by RMS officials, the MALD-J has an operational range of about 900 km after launch, with its flight characteristics able to be pre-programmed to better represent a particular manned type. Its single Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-150 turbojet engine powers it to a surge speed of Mach 0.9 or an endurance speed of about Mach 0.6.

The MALD-J and MALD-N can be fitted to a pylon of any aircraft that can carry the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM. The MALD-N to be carried by the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F-16, F-15 and Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II platforms.

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