United States – MALD-J Deliveries Commence

Raytheon has commenced deliveries of its ADM-160J Miniature Air-Launched Decoy-Jamming (MALD-J) radar jamming system to the United States Air Force and United States Navy, following the declaration of its initial operating capability in late July.

So far, 48 ADM-160Js have been constructed with another 96 due to complete production by the end of the year.

The baseline ADM-160B MALD is launched around 920km (496nm) miles ahead of a strike package of aircraft and loiters over the area where the attack will take place for around 50 minutes.

When loitering, the MALD emits a radar signature that can mimic either a small, medium or large aircraft, the goal being to fool ground-based air defences into targeting the decoy, rather individual aircraft.

Raytheon commenced production of the ‘vanilla’ ADM-160B MALD in 2003, and since 2009 has delivered around 500 examples. Low rate initial production of the ADM-160J MALD-J commenced in November 2011; with a €3.9 million ($5 million) contract option to procure the last lot of MALD decoys as MALD-J systems being exercised to this end.

Raytheon has since been awarded a contract worth €64 million ($82 million) to produce 200 ADM-160J MALD-J examples.

The crucial difference between the ADM-160B and ADM-160J is that, while the MALD mimics the radar signature of a particular-sized aircraft, the MALD-J includes a jamming function for hostile radars.

Published by Thomas Withington

Thomas Withington is a writer and analyst specialising in electronic warfare, radar and military communications.

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