USMC's data link-equipped MALD-J successfully conducts first flight


The US Marine Corps (USMC) and US Air Force, together with Raytheon, have successfully conducted the debut flight of a miniature air-launched decoy jammer (MALD-J), integrated with a radio data link, at the USMC Air Station in Yuma, US.

During a captive carry mission, which was conducted in support of the USMC weapons and tactics instructor exercise, the MALD-J successfully completed radar jamming and sent situation awareness data to the EW Battle Manager (EWBM).

The EWBM then used the data to alter the mission during flight.

"The modular, air-launched and programmable MALD-J flight vehicle has a range of approximately 500nm."

Raytheon Missile Systems Air Warfare Systems vice-president Mike Jarrett said: "This flight test shows MALD-J's ability to integrate new technology that will provide the warfighter [with] more capabilities on the battlefield.

"The marines are operationalising the marine air ground task force cyberspace and electronic warfare coordination cell, and Raytheon is part of this forward-thinking solution to a complex problem."

The integration of the data link improves the system's situational awareness and enables in-flight targeting alterations.

The exercise used the USMC's latest electronic warfare services architecture protocol and a tactical targeting network technology radio.

Weighing below 300lb, the modular, air-launched and programmable MALD-J flight vehicle has a range of approximately 500nm.

MALD duplicates the combat flight profiles and signatures of US and allied aircraft and defends aircraft and their crews, while MALD-J adds radar-jamming potential to the regular MALD platform.

Raytheon started MALD-J deliveries in 2012.

Defence Technology