ADM-160 MALD

The ADM-160 MALD (Miniature Air-Launched Decoy) is a decoy missile developed by the United States of America.

Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1995
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United States of America View

The Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) program was begun in 1995 by DARPA as an effort to develop a small, low cost decoy missile for use in the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses. Teledyne Ryan (acquired by Northrop Grumman in 1999) was granted a development contract for the ADM-160A in 1996, and the first test flight took place in 1999. The evaluation program was finished by 2001.

The US Air Force planned to acquire several thousand of ADM-160A's, but in 2001 this was reduced to at most 150 for a System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program. In January 2002, the USAF cancelled the program because the drone didn't have enough range and endurance to meet the service's requirements or to perform other missions.

The ADM-160A carries a Signature Augmentation Subsystem (SAS) which is composed of various active radar enhancers which cover a range of frequencies. The SAS can therefore simulate any aircraft, from the B-52 Stratofortress to the F-117 Nighthawk.

The missile has folded wings to allow more compact carriage. On launch the wings unfold and a TJ-50 turbojet propels the missile on a pre-determined course which is composed of up to 100 different waypoints. An inertial navigation system with GPS support keeps the MALD on course. Although pre-programmed before the aircraft leaves the ground, the course can be modified by the pilot at any point up to launch.

Specifications (Northrop Grumman ADM-160A)

  • Length : 2.38 m (7 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan : 0.65 m (2 ft 2 in)
  • Diameter : 15 cm (6 in)
  • Weight : 45 kg (100 lb)
  • Speed : Mach 0.8
  • Ceiling : Over 9,000 m (30,000 ft)
  • Range : Over 460 km (285 mi)
  • Endurance : Over 20 min
  • Propulsion : Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-50 turbojet; 220 N (50 lbf) thrust
  • Unit cost : US$30,000

Specifications (Raytheon ADM-160B)

  • Length : 2.84 m (9 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan : 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in) fully extended
  • Weight : 115 kg (250 lb)
  • Speed : Mach 0.91
  • Ceiling : Over 12,200 m (40,000 ft)
  • Range : Approximately 920 km (575 mi) with ability to loiter over target
  • Endurance : Over 45 min at altitude
  • Propulsion : Hamilton Sundstrand TJ-150 turbojet
  • Unit cost : US$120,000 (initial),[5] US$322,000 (as of 2015)

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