The SDM-31 MSLD is a decoy drone in use by the United Nations Space Command. It is capable of simulating the sensor signature of any UNSC starship and is used to divert enemy fire away from the originating ship.
One of many programs and systems designed based on throw-backs to the 21st century, the SDM-31 MSLD was built on the basis of the Miniature Air-Launched Decoy developed by the United States Air Force between 1995-2010. Its intent was to develop a small, low-cost decoy vehicle for use in suppressing Covenant defenses and drawing fire away from other vessels.
The SDM-31 carries a Signature Augmentation Subsystem (SAS) which is composed of various active radar enhancers which cover a range of frequencies. The SAS can therefore simulate any space-capable vehicle, from the D77H-TCI Pelican to a UNSC supercarrier.
While classified as a missile, the MSLD more readily resembles a vehicle, and can only be deployed from a Longsword or larger vessel. Once launched, the decoy follows a pre-determined course of up to 100 waypoints while producing sensor and communication signals to mimic its programmed vessel. Lacking a Shaw-Fujikawa slipspace engine, the MSLD is incapable of making slipspace jumps, however it can simulate a run up to slipspace and generate the appropriate sensor noise to fool a pursuing vessel into believing it made a slipspace jump.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The Miniature Space-Launched Decoy is inspired by the ADM-160 Miniature Air Launched Decoy in use by the United States Air Force.
- Similar to how 'ADM' in the MALD stands for 'Air Decoy Missile,' the 'SDM' of this weapon indicates that it is a 'Space Decoy Missile.'