Wed, Oct 25, 2006
Raytheon Mini-Drone Successfully Tested
If a decoy works for
duck hunters, you can imagine what the Air Force can do with its
shotgun. The Air Force is always looking for ways to maintain air
superiority and it really likes to kill SAMs (surface-to-air
missiles) that could harm crews and aircraft.
So on Tuesday, Raytheon and the Air Force announced they have
successfully deployed a mini-decoy from an F-16 designed
to provoke enemy defenses to go after it. The ADM-160B
is called MALD (Miniature Air Launched Decoy) and is a small
jet-powered swing-wing aircraft. It is currently configured to be
launched from an F-16 or B-52.
The tests were conducted at Eglin AFB, FL and included
nine flights this summer. All were successful.
Once the enemy SAM is fired at the MALD, the good guys now know
where they are and the Air Force can use its special skills to
eliminate the SAM site.
The ten foot long decoy can fly a variety of flight profiles to
simulate the characterstics of other Air Force aircraft, and is
scheduled to go into full production in two years.
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