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Let the Jam Begin: Raytheon delivered its first batch of eight Miniature Air Launched Decoy Jammers to the Air Force for operational test and evaluation, announced company officials. Based on the MALD decoy, which mimics the radar signature of strike aircraft, MALD-J adds an offensive radar-jamming capability. Accordingly, "the need for aviators to fly to conduct dangerous jamming missions will be greatly reduced once the system reaches initial operational capability," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon air warfare systems vice president. MALD's versatility as a base platform opens the vehicle to a multitude of potential new roles, according to the company. "The MALD family is versatile, flexible, and modular, and can carry almost any payload," noted Schulte. After its first flight in 2009, Raytheon received a $49 million contract for MALD-J in May 2010. Following rigorous testing, MALD-J is projected to enter the operational inventory in late 2012.