First Powered Flight of Miniature Air Launched Decoy
June 14, 2007 Raytheon's Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) is on track to begin production in 2008 having demonstrated successful powered flight performance when launched from a U.S. Air Force F-16 at Eglin Air Force Base recently. The 120-inch MALD is a low-cost, air-launched, turbojet-powered, swing-wing programmable craft that accurately duplicates the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft. The MALD can be launched from F-16 or B-52 Stratofortress and flies a pre-programmed flight path into hostile air space to stimulate enemy air defenses. In addition to protecting valuable aircraft, MALD offers counter air operations to neutralize, if not destroy, air defense systems that pose a threat.
The MALD was launched over the Gulf of Mexico where it entered engine powered flight, executed a series of maneuvers and operated its payload during the mission. MALD's navigation and guidance were activated on the flight, and no communications with the F-16 were required for the test execution.
Additional MALD free flight tests are scheduled to run through 2007, and the program will transition into production in fiscal year 2008.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
All articles by Mike Hanlon
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