Le Bourget, France Raytheon’s Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammer has completed operational testing, said Harry Schulte, vice president of the company’s air warfare systems. “Everything we saw looked really, really good, so we would expect the OT report to be good,” he told reporters here on June 19, the third day of the 50th Paris Air Show. The MALD-J performed well in all 15 of its flight tests throughout its four-year development, including OT, and Raytheon completed the development work under budget, according to a company release. As the name implies, MALD-J jams enemy air defense radars, but also retains the inherent decoy capabilities of the baseline MALD already in service with the Air Force. Looking forward, Schulte said adding a data link to MALD vehicles would be “something kind of obvious to do” since friendly aircrews currently have no way of knowing when a MALD supporting them is going to run out of gas and expire. “If a strike package is coming in and you’ve got MALDs that are out there fighting the radars, if they are going to quit fighting, you want to know that,” he said.
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.