Raytheon Wins $82 Million Contract for "Jamming Drones"

Raytheon (NYSE: RTN  ) yesterday announced a sizable order for its new radar-jamming, airplane-spoofing MALD-J "drone" missile.

The MALD made headlines earlier this year on reports that drone specialist General Atomics was planning to mount it aboard larger Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles. This week's news isn't necessarily connected to that February announcement.

What Raytheon announced this week is that the U.S. Air Force has placed an order for 202 new MALD-Js from Raytheon, and that the contract was awarded in Raytheon's first quarter.The contract is for $81.7 million.

Raytheon's basic MALD is a remotely operated missile that spoofs the radar signature of a full-sized plane, tricking enemy radar operators into thinking they're seeing a fighter jet or other aircraft on their screens. The MALD-J adds to adversaries' confusion by also jamming their radar signals, presumably giving them the impression that not only are they being attacked by U.S. fighter jets, but that they're being accompanied by EA-18 Growler electronic countermeasures aircraft as well.

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