New Delhi: Reports suggest American defence contractors are now eyeing sub-contracts for the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender by offering missiles and other technologies to be mated with the fourth-generation fighter aircraft being contracted for by the Indian Air Force. US defence majors Boeing and Lockheed lost the competition for the IAF's MMRCA this year to European companies Eurofighter and Dassault.
Despite the loss American defence contractor Raytheon remains hopeful about missiles the company thinks could easily be mated with the aircraft the Government of India selects, reports suggest.
At least two American missiles – the all-weather Paveway and Advanced Multirole Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) - have been tested by the Indian Air Force.
Raytheon has agreed to respond to Indian request for High Speed Expendable Aerial Targeting offering the MALD, or Miniature Air Launched Decoy, said the report.
The Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) is a low-cost, air-launched programmable craft that accurately duplicates the combat flight profiles and signatures of U.S. and allied aircraft.
According to Raytheon, MALD is a flexible, modular and an expendable air-launched flight vehicle that looks like a US or allied aircraft to enemy integrated air defence systems (IADS). An air force can confuse and deceive enemy IADS by sending a formation of MALDs into hostile airspace.
MALD weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (575 statute miles). After it is launched from its host aircraft, MALD flies a pre-programmed mission.
In addition to protecting valuable aircraft, MALD offers counter air operations to neutralize air defence systems that pose a threat to aircraft.