Military Review

"MALD-J": a slightly "smarter" descendant of the Luneberg lens. Tactical limitations of the promoted rocket bait


The process of placing the bait rocket "MALD-J" on the suspension point of a strategic bomber B-52H

According to a report by the Military Parity informational and analytical resource on July 12, 2016, citing Western sources, the US Navy concluded a 35-million contract with Reiteon for the modernization of ADM-160 MALD-J small-sized electronic bait / drone missiles . Having first taken to the air 17 years ago, the prototype bait / simulator rocket was constantly improved, so the current modification has a 2-fold increased flight range (from 450 to 925 km), as well as a more advanced elemental base of the RER and EW complex. The first information about gaining operational readiness of a promising bait-rocket was received by media on December 16, 2014, when tactical aviation The US Marine Corps successfully tested the latest version of the product. And now incredibly high bets are being made on the MALD-J program in the Air Force, Navy and the United States Naval Forces, sometimes even reaching such strategically important projects as JASSM-ER / LRASM, because the missile is planned to be used in the most demanding air operations, including a missile defense system, where the enemy’s air defense systems are capable of partially or fully stopping the American MRAU fleet and the Air Force using the latest standard types of precision weapons.

“MALD-J” should complicate the work of ground-based and airborne early warning and early warning systems to such an extent that the computational tools of surveillance radar systems, airborne radar fighters and the MRLS anti-aircraft missile systems will be overloaded, and their operators will be psychologically depressed due to the huge number of airborne simulators of American aviation, which will exceed the capacity of any type of modern radar.

Yes, such a concept is indeed one of the most important guarantees of a successful military operation, but is this rocket as perfect as the Raytheon marketing and sales department presents?


The “MALD-J” ability to “steal” important target / target designation channels of multifunctional radars (illumination and guidance) and observation complexes really creates enormous difficulties for the calculations of even modern anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as operators of DRLOi aircraft, because the “smart” drone simulator can very accurately repeat the effective scattering surface of most modern means of air attack, which perfectly confuses the selection capabilities of the radar. But the real effectiveness of the new American “tricks” can be achieved only in conjunction with strategic cruise missiles of the “Tomahawk” type, as well as tactical AGM-158A / B and “Taurus”, which can follow the target, focusing only on the GPS module and own INS using thermal imaging correlation sensors. The possibility of autonomous flight with passive trajectory and guidance navigation systems indicates that these missiles do not use active radar guidance and are in no way different from the ADM-160 “MALD-J” EPR that simulate them. A completely different situation is observed during the use of the “MALD-J” to simulate tactical and strategic aircraft.

The MALD-J cruise missiles are made in a compact, angular fuselage with a length of just over 2 m made of composite materials. There is a radio transparent fairing, under which a passive antenna of the DER complex and a multifrequency emitter of reflected simulating electromagnetic waves of the millimeter, centimeter, decimeter and meter ranges with a powerful amplifier are installed. Before simulating a certain frequency and power of the radiator, which correspond to the type of the radar of the enemy and set the EPR level to simulate "MALD-J", the onboard antennas of the DER of the bait rocket identify and save the parameters of the irradiation signal, after which the data enters the generating device. As a result, target indicators appear on enemy radar indicators corresponding to the EPR of a pre-selected aircraft (F-15SE or F-22A "Raptor"). But all this is only until the onboard radar of the fighter, the REB complex and tactical information exchange systems are included.

The modes of operation of these complexes are much more diverse than the spectrum of simulated emissions of the transmitter MALD-J, which is easily intercepted and selected by modern electronic intelligence tools, including ground-based complexes Tamara, Valeria, and air - Tu-214P. All these tools have modern computerized computing bases with physical drives, on which a regularly updated list of the enemy’s emitting systems is installed (radar, communications, REB, radio altimeters, etc.), and therefore it will be quite possible to distinguish the ADM-160 from the fighter will require NATO military aviation, at the time of entry into the zone of probable action of our SRTR, to be in radio silence mode with the EW and airborne radars turned off, only receiving a tactical "picture" from remote means RTR But in conditions when our air forces have such machines as the Su-35C and the Su-30CM, the turned off radar of American fighters will lead to an indispensable defeat.

Antenna post SRTR "Valeria" with a ring passive HEADLAMP is placed on a telescopic hydraulic boom more than 20 m in height, which gives additional opportunities for detecting low-altitude radio-emitting air objects at a distance of 35 — 40 km

This fact shows that, as applied to the imitation of tactical aviation, the MALD-J is a rather ineffective unmanned aircraft complex, the operation of which can be quickly calculated against the background of the frequency diversity of the emitting complexes of modern fighters and bombers. But the Americans continue to fight for an ambitious program, and the network-centric capabilities of the American 4 ++ / 5 multi-purpose fighter aircraft of the generations come into play. The highest network-centric level today is observed in the Navy and US Air Force units equipped with the multi-purpose F-35A / B / C, F / A-18E / F / G and F-22A fighter jets, and the deck fleet aircraft recently received a good lead in terms of system linkage. If the Raptors have a standard Link-16 bus, then the deck F / A-18E / F, Growlers, F-35B / C and E-3D, in accordance with the concepts of maritime anti-aircraft and anti-ship defense "NIFC-CA" and "ADOSWC" receive specialized communication equipment with the channels "MADL" ("Small Data Pipe") and "TTNT" (sub-channel "Link-16 / CMN-4").

Radio channel "TTNT" is in the decimeter wavelength range and is able to operate effectively for several hundred kilometers. Imagine the situation: there is a squadron "Super Hornets", carrying on suspensions around 30 "MALD-J" and several anti-ship "LRASMs". The task was to break through the KUG / AUG air defense of the Chinese Navy with the subsequent destruction of the Type 52D aircraft covering the aircraft carrier. To create the effect of surprise, F / A-18E / F will approach the Chinese AUG with the radar turned off, simultaneously launching a couple of dozen MALD-Js imitating the EPR of both the Super Hornets and the anti-shipboard missiles to “load” the ship’s air defense missiles. LRASM. While the lure rockets will rise to the height available for detection by Chinese general-purpose missile and MRLS, real F / A-18E / F with combat anti-ship missiles will launch an attack, and then either engage in air combat with deck J-15S, or start Return to the home base. Naturally, before the MALD-J approach is less than 25 km, the operators of the Chinese KZRK will not be able to recognize the absence of the American Super Hornets and LRASMs in the main distracting link, since television-optical sights on destroyers, due to atmospheric factors, do not recognize exact type of goals. And then, in the remaining couple of minutes, it will be very difficult to distinguish the real anti-ship missiles from the 10 lure missiles.

The entire operation will be carried out by adjusting the actions on the TTNT channel from the remote Edited Hokay or F-35B / C, without outgoing packets of information from the attacking Super Hornets. This will not allow Chinese radio equipment to distinguish American fighters from rocket baits.

The millimeter-channel “MADL” (11 - 18 GHz) can also play a large role in carrying out such operations. Antennas for his work are exactly the same, which will completely allow for two-way instant information exchange during the operation of the MALD-J lure-rocket. Its distance is only a few tens of kilometers, but it is not so easy to switch it with the help of DER. The signal power is very low.

These two channels of tactical information exchange demonstrate that with the help of modern network-centric abilities in some cases it is possible to correct the multiple flaws of various weapon systems, including the ADM-160 “MALD-J” lure-rocket. But this does not mean that the flaws of this rocket are completely eliminated. Its carriers will not be able to fly with the airborne radars turned off in all combat situations, because during the superior strength and technical capabilities of the enemy’s combat aviation, the need for radar will occur to all Super Hornets or other machines without exception, and the presence of flying deceptions will be instantly revealed .

In addition, the maximum speed of the MALD-J does not exceed 1200 km / h, which does not allow it to imitate supersonic aircraft, and the range at 925 km gives only some tactical advantages in conducting air operations at a small distance from the most active part of the theater. A small bait rocket will simply not reach the rear areas of large countries. The infrared “luminosity” of jet gases of turbofan engines is much lower than that of JASSM-ER or Tomahawk, and therefore at short distances it will be very different from other means of air attack, in fact, as in the television channel, due to the smaller geometric dimensions and bright pronounced engine air intake.

The effectiveness of this bait rocket is only several times higher than that of an ordinary Luneberg lens, which hides the real EPR of 5 generation fighters in peacetime, is somewhat brightened up by the installed EW and REAR systems, but for use against advanced aerospace defense systems with attached complexes REAR and optical radio intelligence intelligence this "Rayton" drone is absolutely not old enough. In the future, we will track the modernization program “MALD-J” on the example of new versions of the rocket for the fleet “MALD-N” and missiles with enhanced capabilities for exchanging data “MALD-X”.

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  1. corporal
    corporal 19 July 2016 05: 00
    It is a pity that the Raytheon engineers do not read VO, otherwise they would already know that their cunning plan for cutting the American dough was revealed by our valiant analysts. wassat
    1. Lyubopyatov
      Lyubopyatov 19 July 2016 23: 48
      But the US intelligence community reads.
    2. Uryukc
      Uryukc 24 July 2016 00: 11
      Why is it a pity, even if they do not read further. The more sawed, the better.
  2. Tsoy
    Tsoy 19 July 2016 06: 57
    A small bait rocket will simply not reach the rear areas of large countries.

    And why should she fly to the rear? They were created to assist in the breakthrough of air defense, and the range in 900 km is enough with a head when launching near the line of defense.

    And the predecessor of the malda was the Amd-20 quail. Emnip in 60's.

    ADM-20 “Quayel” (English ADM-20 Quail, literally “quail”, until June 1963 of the year was designated as GAM-72) - American aircraft rocket-decoy (false target), used to simulate the radar characteristics of strategic bombers like B- 52 in order to mislead the enemy radar regarding the real number of approaching aircraft and facilitate its air defense breakthrough. The launch of the false target was carried out from the side of the carrier - B-52.

    Only here is the efficiency ...

    The tests conducted by the Air Force in 1972 showed that the air defense radar operators are able to correctly detect the false targets of ADM-20 in the 21 case from 23. Given that Quail has ceased to be an effective false target, the Air Force began its decommissioning. The latest ADM-20C was written off 15 December 1978 of the year.

    Muld has not shown himself yet. On paper, everything is fine, but in reality nobody will know.
    1. Leto
      Leto 19 July 2016 08: 24
      Quote: Choi
      Muld has not shown himself yet. On paper, everything is fine, but in reality nobody will know.

      And what is there to know? They will launch the mass of MALD-J and they will have to be knocked down because go and know what it is, a false target, a cruise missile or a scout? And in the mass of false goals there may be the objects listed above. Skip them?
      1. Tsoy
        Tsoy 19 July 2016 08: 37
        Quote: Leto
        Launch the MALD-J Mass

        Well, the predecessor is not very successful. Who knows, maybe they can also be easily distinguished from a false goal? If not a couple of thousands of such gifts will give heat to the floor yes. ZV missiles will not save enough.
      2. Vadim237
        Vadim237 19 July 2016 12: 11
        So from these simulator missiles, you can make drones - kamikazes - if the radars distinguish as false targets and do not shoot down, then these devices will be able to suddenly attack the radar and launchers.
        1. Tsoy
          Tsoy 19 July 2016 14: 41
          Quote: Vadim237
          So from these simulator missiles, you can make drones - kamikazes - if the radars distinguish as false targets and do not shoot down, then these devices will be able to suddenly attack the radar and launchers.

          Hehe already think about it. The next version of the Mald-V will be modular. Different payloads are developed depending on the task. To date, several types of load have been identified: reconnaissance, reb, signal repeaters, and combat units of various types. Reb is already in mald j.

          In May, 2014 Ratheon reported on the delivery of mald missiles to the 1000 troops. The cost at that time about 120 thousand. In some sources, the mald is called UAV. I do not know how justified, but the stated time of stay in the air 45 minutes.
        2. Do not care
          Do not care 19 July 2016 16: 44
          Already working on this:

          Miniature Autonomous Search and Strike Missile, proposed MALD upgrade to hunt transporter erector launchers (TELs). It would be equipped with LIDAR, millimeter wave radar, and an imaging infrared sensor with a small warhead to accommodate fuel and satellite communications. Depending on altitude and endurance, one MASSM could search 3,000 km2 (1,200 sq mi) of area. May be recoverable. "

          Miniature self-contained ammunition as suggested by MALD's ability to hunt launchers (TELS). It will be equipped with LIDAR, a millimeter radar and an infrared camera.

          With such ammunition, the air defense system has only two choices - either destroy the flock of MALD (unless of course it recognizes), having spent all the ammunition of the missiles on them, or be destroyed
    2. sivuch
      sivuch 19 July 2016 11: 36
      Their predecessors - TALDs proved to be quite successful.
      .Of course, both the drugs and the equipment of the opponents left much to be desired, but the problem was and remains for any air defense. A possible solution, KMK, is the comprehensive use of all means of detection-radar, including ZGRLS, OES, up to observers with binoculars and a mobile phone and RTR
  3. spike-110
    spike-110 19 July 2016 10: 52
    a good thing .. what kind of anti-aircraft defense, be it S-300, -400, Patriots, Iron domes or SAMT, will not take out the influx of such LCs ... how many channels are there with the S-300? .. 6 targets, 2 missiles each .. 400 more, but also not a hundred .. and there are still such wonderful things as the AGM-88 HARM and the like .. here I can imagine how all of this would fall into the air defense position. 1982 a small country in one valley very clearly showed that if the air defense does not move ... does not change its position, does not make false batteries, including with radar simulators, then what happens with such air defense ... it’s a pity that I didn’t hear about such autonomous LCs we created .. towed yes, sort of developed, but there are none in our VKS, we’ll probably only be preparing to fight with all kinds of ISIS, where all the air defense are MANPADS and ZUShka in a jeep ...
  4. qwert
    qwert 19 July 2016 11: 07
    For every tricky high-tech American bolt - there is no less tricky, but cheaper domestic nut. Unless, of course, our defense industry will become more important than new cottages, yachts, as well as olympiads and championships.
  5. avg-mgn
    avg-mgn 19 July 2016 11: 55
    I will not be a visionary, but this theme lying on the surface is known to our designers and was actively studied by 90x, and by this I hope is not forgotten.
    1. Vadim237
      Vadim237 19 July 2016 12: 01
      Only this topic did not go beyond design research.
  6. Operator
    Operator 19 July 2016 12: 55
    The stupidity of the MALD-J false aerodynamic target is related to its versatility - to radar simulate a large number of real tactical aircraft, the false target is equipped with receivers, emitters and calculators that receive a probing radar signal, decrypts its encoding in frequency, phase and amplitude and generates the corresponding echo signal , the power of which is selected in proportion to the EPR of one or another protected tactical aircraft.

    There is only one problem with MALD-J - the time taken to receive, decrypt, and generate an echo is always non-zero. As a result, the enemy radar receives two echo signals - one of its own with a power proportional to the EPR of the false target, and the other artificially generated by MALD-J equipment with a power proportional to the EPR of the protected aircraft.

    There is a time interval between the two echoes, which is the longer, the more complex the coding of the probe signal of the radar. Due to this fatal flaw, a false target with an active electronic system can always be identified (first of all, by means of RTR, and later on by fighters with the help of flashing the radar software).

    The only type of workable false targets is highly specialized disposable drones (corresponding to specific aircraft models), the EPR of which is formed using a set of reflective and absorbing coatings without the use of active agents. Their selection is possible only with the help of simultaneous irradiation with meter, decimeter and centimeter ranges.

    All in all, MALD-J is another example of a budget cut. bully
    1. bk316
      bk316 19 July 2016 14: 44
      I don’t know who minus you, in my opinion you are right.
      1. Operator
        Operator 19 July 2016 16: 03
        It is clear who minus one of the sect of idolaters of the western wunderwafers. Recently, all their arguments have narrowed to a minus sign.

        A request to the administration of the VO portal to make a transcript of those who put minuses and pluses.

        Generally speaking, false targets as a cover for tactical aircraft are becoming more and more a thing of the past.
        Firstly, the EPR of 5 generation aircraft is less than the EPR of false targets with the simulation equipment of the same aircraft turned on - the reflective surface of the emitters of the LC is too large.
        Secondly, aircraft are less and less directly involved in breaking through enemy air defenses, since there are gliding bombs and cruise missiles for this. For these ammunition, cheap highly specialized false targets for overloading radars and consuming anti-aircraft missiles are perfect.

        Since the last decision was buzzed by the Americans at the moment, Russia has a chance to come forward and make, for example, our Kalibr and Kh-101/102 missile launchers practically invulnerable when attacking highly defended NATO targets covered by an air defense system, including a shipborne one.
    2. The comment was deleted.
  7. spike-110
    spike-110 19 July 2016 17: 02
    okay, then we’ll be with examples .. the war-888 ... a miserable adversary’s air defense, consisting of half of the Soviet one .. for five days from five to 15 aircraft shot down from our side .. and do you think that the LCs were not needed ?. EW aircraft too? .. we don’t have as many Calibers..that the states have about 4000 in the fleet, and several thousand AGM-158..Calibra we make about a hundred a year course a hen, and not a world we are the gendarme ... in some things we have been swaying for so long ... and some directions we don’t do at all .. examples, easy: no strike UAVs, no long-range MLRS, no 3rd generation ATGMs, no normal modern torpedoes (use the old one) , missiles do not fly for a fleet with an active seeker, there is no active defense on tanks, there are no maneuvering LCs, there is no normal barreled artillery (since the 90s everyone has practically switched to 52-caliber barrels, except for the USA, those of the Air Force have for artillery) it turns out that Turkey, having several hundred self-propelled guns T-155, has already surpassed us with more individual coalitions .. and I think the latter just catches up in range all these Caesars, PzH-2000, K-9, G-6 ... but what can we talk about, we have the main fuse for arty-percussion !!!! ... one German company Yunhgans (also made fuses for fascists) specializing in NATO makes 5 million non-fuse fuses a year .. and they use radio fuses from World War II .. find a video on YouTube when a 155mm shell explodes at a height of 7-15 meters and what kind of dust cloud rises from the fragments .. and if the battery. can talk about if they have a 60mm mortar from the beginning of the 80s with a radio fuse ... and all these type phrases for every tricky opu we will come up with something with a thread for philistine conversations .. like the Yugoslavs on .with an open door, a microwave and they were guided by the HARM RPR ... do you really believe that? ... of course we have the most powerful anti-aircraft defense and all of this is recognized (especially the latest missiles with a border of 400 km - AWACS and JISTARS just smoke aside ) ... the best helicopters .. the last mines (including remote ones) with seismic sensors I generally consider small masterpieces..powerful electronic warfare ... yes, Gauges, X-101 (102), .. yes, somewhere it may not be necessary to repeat themselves in the West, there will not be enough money ..
    1. iouris
      iouris 19 July 2016 18: 28
      Quote: spike-110
      maybe it doesn’t have to be repeated after the West, no money will be enough.

      Enough for someone.
      The very idea of ​​“chasing the“ golden billion ”is absurd. They will not even let us into the Olympics without any consequences for themselves.
    2. Comrade Kim
      Comrade Kim 22 July 2016 15: 24
      I agree that our "newest" weapons are tired of our “newest” weapons. It is ridiculous to measure against the USA resources. We are not touched only because of the presence of nuclear weapons.
      Silent and shading the bitter truth, we are preparing a new Tsushima for ourselves.
      But time has not been missed yet, there is an opportunity for maneuver, the national spirit and the Strategic Missile Forces.
  8. spike-110
    spike-110 19 July 2016 18: 39
    we understand that the persecution of athletes is part of a big game against us .. and about chasing, I meant weapons and all that ... all the same, military technology has always moved progress, otherwise it would still be chopped down with swords .. very glad that the army is paying enough attention now .. has its own know-how, there is something that has been encountered before (use of weapons and tactics) .. although PR is enough .. but the one who does nothing is not mistaken
  9. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 22 July 2016 19: 44
    To get an idea of ​​how MALDs hung under wings look like