October 24, 2006 (by Asif Shamim) - Today at Eglin Air Force, Raytheon reported it has successfully deployed its ADM-160B decoy under a series of flight tests held during the summer.
The ADM-160B is described as a Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) vehicle that can be fired into enemy airspace to provoke a response from enemy defences, therefore giving away there positions for possible attacks.
The decoy measuring 120 inches is turbojet powered, swing-wing and designed for launch from either the F-16 or the B-52 heavy bomber. It can be programmed to fly into harms way mimicking the profiles of a jet such as an F-16 so as to fool enemy radar. Raytheon said multiple MALDs can even fly in formation much the same way inbound warplanes would.
The tests that were conducted at Eglin by the 49th Test Wing, consisted of nine sorties in which the ADM-160B was deployed from different pylons positions at varying speeds and altitudes. Three of these tests had MALDs equipped with specialist measuring instruments and were all photographed by chase planes using on-board cameras.
The MALD is being developed at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. The company was satisfied with the tests and stated they would continue further testing throughout 2007 with production starting in fiscal 2008.