USAF considers upgrades for next stand-in jammer

By Stephen Trimble

The US Air Force has tasked Raytheon to study the feasibility of two key upgrades for a jammer platform now in development.

The $12.2 million deal awarded this week indicates the USAF has found gaps in the capabilities offered by the miniature air launched decoy-jammer (MALD-J).

Raytheon engineers will evaluate the technical maturity of a radio frequency data link and "further increases" in jammer power levels.

"This will enhance MALD-J's ability to function as a key component in a system of electronic warfare systems," Ken Watson, US Air Force MALD programme manager, said in a Raytheon press release.

The design changes, if approved, would be incorporated into a new Block II configuration.

The baseline MALD-J is designed to penetrate defended airspace and jam hostile radar emitters from inside the tracking range of surface to air missiles. The platform should weigh less than 300lb and fly a maximum of about 500nm.

Raytheon received an $80.2 million contract 31 March to launch the second phase risk reduction and development on the MALD-J, which is scheduled to enter service in late Fiscal 2013.

© Reed Business Information 2009

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