Raytheon announced that it deployed two Miniature Air Launched Decoy instrumented shapes from the ramp of a C-130 transport via a new company-funded launch system. This test at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., marked MALD’s first deployment from a cargo aircraft. The MALD Cargo Air Launched System, or MCALS, has a steel, birdcage-like body framework that can hold as many as eight MALDs, according to the company. It is loaded on a standard cargo pallet, placed on a transport aircraft, and at a pre-determined altitude rapidly ejects the MALDs. “MCALS opens the door for the non-traditional use of a high-capacity aircraft to deliver hundreds of MALDs during a single combat sortie,” said Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s vice president of air warfare systems. In addition to the decoy configuration, Raytheon is also developing a MALD variant for stand-in jamming of enemy radar.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.