One of America's most potent air combat creations doesn't hang as a poster on adolescent boys' walls or gets featured in a Bruckheimer blockbuster. The humble yet game-changing Miniature Air Launched Decoy has had a quiet history and it is already operational in two iterations. Now, this radar stumping super-missile is becoming a 'networked' kamikaze smart drone.
The ADM-160 MALD, built by sensor and ordinance giant Raytheon, was born in the mid 1990s to fulfill a DARPA requirement for a small, standoff-range capable, air deployable, flying decoy. The system was envisioned as being small enough so that numerous units would be able to be launched from a plethora of active air combat aircraft, from a B-52 to an F-16 in size.