Raytheon Company, in partnership with Fokker and Dallara, has developed a lower-cost carbon fiber airframe for the U.S. Air Force’s Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) by applying robotics and formula racing technologies.
The three companies reduced airframe production costs by 25 percent. The new innovative composite design will be included in this year’s Lot 7 production.
"MALD is a cost-efficient, modular system that can protect manned aircraft from the need to engage threats and make stand-off munitions even more lethal," said Scott Muse, Raytheon’s MALD programs director. "Driving affordability is a key element of customer success. Through the partnership with Fokker, Dallara and the U.S. Air Force, we delivered MALD’s capabilities at a lower price."
Raytheon Missile Systems partnered with industry leaders, using robotics and commercial racing car technologies to cut the cost of defense aerospace applications. Fokker Technologies, which develops and produces advanced structures and electrical systems for aerospace and defense, helped to adapt robots to wind the carbon fiber fuselage, rather than rely on the conventional, hand-built approach. Dallara, which for 40 years has produced some of the fastest, safest racing cars in the world, applied the lightweight, very strong structural technologies used in Indy car racing to airframe accessories, including covers and air inlets.