The US Air Force’s (USAF) pilots have conducted an integrated strike mission to showcase the A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft’s capability to employ Air Decoy Missile (ADM)-160 Miniature Air Launched Decoys (MALD).

Participating A-10C pilots were from the 74th Fighter Squadron (FS) based at Moody Air Force Base (AFB).

The simulated mission, which also involved B1-B Lancer aircraft, was carried out above the Philippine Sea, in conjunction with Operation Iron Thunder.

Iron Thunder is a force employment operation conducted to boost the Pacific Air Forces’ ability to remain ‘strategically predictable and operationally unpredictable.’

During the mission, the A-10 aircraft employed MALD at stand-off locations to neutralise the enemy’s air defence system by creating decoys and cluttering radar detection systems.

The process allows various fourth and fifth-generation fighter jets, as well as bomber aircraft, to increase survivability and use greater amounts of munitions.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The A-10C Thunderbolt II has 11 weapon stations that allow aircraft to carry various MALDs for strike missions.

74th FS commander lieutenant colonel Matt Shelly said: “The A-10 is famous for its 30mm Gatling gun and ability to carry large weapons loads, but we must move beyond weapons and mission sets that made A-10 famous in low-intensity conflicts of the Middle East and accelerate change in this way to be a force multiplier for combatant commanders.”

The exercise allowed pilots to practise the decoy employment concepts in a simulated environment and prepare for future combat strike missions. 

It also trained them to work in coordination with other aircraft within a particular strike package.

74th FS A-10 pilot captain Coleen Berryhill said: “This mission was a fantastic way to demonstrate how the A-10 is capable of shifting from a close air support team mindset to a strike team.”