The US Air Force just offered Raytheon $118 million for a contract to provide Lot 9 Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammers (MALD-J) to support their aircraft, UPI reports
MALD-Js launch from aircraft like a missile, but instead of striking a target, they duplicate the flight profiles and the radar signatures of the aircraft that launched them, thusly acting as a decoy.
With the MALD-Js, a fighter jet can send out a decoy as it approaches a protected airspace. When enemy air defenses fire on the decoy, they reveal their position and deplete their ammunition, which is often costly. Many of today’s best air defense systems, like Russia’s S-400, are road-mobile, and therefore hard to find.
The MALD-Js, which weigh just 300 pounds and have a range of 500 nautical miles, can theoretically force these missile batteries to reveal themselves to the real combat aircraft that lag behind.
Even better than most decoy systems, these can also have jamming capabilities, to further cripple enemy air defense systems.