Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Air Combat Command officials anticipate that the Miniature Air Launched Decoy will be ready for operations “in the near future,” according to ACC spokeswoman Capt. Jennifer Ferrau. There has been a delay in MALD reaching this milestone—known as initial operational capability—due to “icing issues and fuel manifold problems,” she told the Daily Report. However, “the corrective actions are in place” and the IOC declaration is expected after flight tests this summer to validate the fixes, she said. The Raytheon-built decoy is an expendable air vehicle meant to mimic the signatures and flight profiles of US and allied combat aircraft after launch, thereby confusing enemy air defenses. B-52s and F-16s will carry them into combat. The company is also maturing a variant known as MALD-J for stand-in jamming of enemy radar. (See also Hercules Deploys Miniature Decoys in Test.)