Here’s how JSOW, MALD and HARM can disrupt adversary air defenses while protecting friendly forces

A screenshot from the simulation that shows JSOW, MADL and Harm at work.

An interesting overview of those technologies that would be part of any effort to penetrate a highly-defended airspace.

Just think how difficult could be to attack targets located inside a MEZ (Missile Engagement Zone).

Any attack package against S-400 or S-300 air defenses would probably require a mix of stealth aircraft, Electronic Warfare activities and, needless to say stand-off weapons.

Among them, there would probably be HARM, JSOW and MALD.

The AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) is a joint U.S. Navy and Air Force program developed by the Navy and Raytheon for the U.S. and foreign air arms aircraft.

The HARM’s mission is to suppress enemy’s SAM (Surface to Air Missile) batteries radars. Once launched the missile homes in on enemy radar emissions propelled at speed over Mach 2 by a smokeless, solid-propellant, booster-sustainer rocket motor.

The HARM is a combat proven missile, extensively used in several conflicts, from Gulf War, to Operation Allied Force in Serbia to the Libya Air War in 2011.

AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) is the name a family of low-cost, air-to-surface cruise missiles that employ an integrated GPS-INS system and thermal imaging IR seeker.

With an operational range of up to 130 km (when launched from high-altitude), the JSOW has been used in combat during Operation Desert Fox, Operation Southern Watch, NATO Operation Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

MALD (Miniature Air-Launched Decoy) is an expendable air-launched flight vehicle that looks like a U.S. or allied aircraft to enemy integrated air defense systems (IADS).

Its goal is to deceive enemy radars: launched by a host platform, a swarm of these lightweight decoys (300 pounds) with a range of 500 NM (Nautical Miles) would appear as formations of conventional aircraft to the enemy IADS and radar sites.

The MALD-J (Jammer) variant of the decoy is a “stand-in” jammer that can operate much closer than conventional EW to the target radar, operating in pairs and working with “traditional” EW platforms.

Anyway, the following interesting footage from the vendor of both weapon systems gives some interesting details about HARM, JSOW and MALD.

Editor’s note: the original video (of Raytheon) was removed. Here’s another one.



About David Cenciotti 4089 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.