Electronic Weapons: September 10, 2002


The Air Force has issued five contracts (each $300,000) to companies to study and propose designs for a small decoy that could be launched by fighters to confuse enemy air defenses. The Air Force wanted to use the Miniature Air Launched Decoy for this mission, but after years of work gave up trying to make the DARPA gadget into an operational weapon. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Accurate Automation are to have their designs ready next year; the winner will be in combat service in 2007. The Air Force plans to buy at least 1,500 of these decoys (perhaps 3,000) and the Navy may want some for itself.--Stephen V Cole


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