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.
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.