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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Defense department conducts demonstrations of MALD-X missile

© Raytheon

The U.S. Department of Defense, along with the U.S. Air Force and Navy, completed a series of flight demonstrations last week of the Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD-X) missile.

The MALD-X missile is an air-launched decoy that mimics “friendly” aircraft to confuse enemy defensive systems.

The demonstrations were conducted by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), with the Air Force MALD Program Office and the Naval Air Warfare Center Point Mugu.

“The rapid development and demonstration was made possible by the cross-service technical collaboration between the Air Force and Navy,” SCO Director Chris Shank said. “The MALD-X is handing over to the Navy to complete system development and transition to an operational capability. The superb cross-service technical teamwork is an exemplar for future innovative projects.”

The missile program allows the Navy to inject adaptive payloads and capabilities into future mission sets rapidly.

“MALD-X gives future warfighters the ability to focus on the nature of the emerging threats rather than being encumbered by the burden associated with making a system interact with mission elements and mission supporting actions,” Matthew O’Connell, MALD-X program manager, said.

The MALD-X program will pursue multiple enhancements for the vehicle that would provide additional mission sets.