Predator B to be equipped with MALD
The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) is to be equipped with Raytheon's Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) as the basis of an effort to develop a highly autonomous, unmanned electronic warfare capability. The companies will work together on the project to expand air superiority capabilities into the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sphere.
MALD is designed to confuse the target integrated air defence system (IADS) by duplicating friendly aircraft flight profiles and radar signatures. Kinetic weaponry is selectively employed to permanently disable IADS nodes, dramatically increasing electronic attack persistence in the battlespace.
Harry Schulte, vice president of Air Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems, said: ‘This new offering provides unprecedented electronic warfare capability enabling remote, unmanned suppression of enemy air defences. Integrating MALD weaponry on remotely piloted aircraft systems is integral to maintaining air superiority in today's and tomorrow's conflicts.’
The Ground Verification Test phase was completed November 2012 at GA-ASI's Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, and integration of MALD on the aircraft is estimated to conclude in 2013.
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