Australia marks anti-ship missile decoy milestone

Australian minister for defense industry announced on Monday that the final Nulka anti-ship missile decoy to be produced under a contract with BAE Systems Australia has been delivered.

Christopher Pyne said the Nulka, a joint Australian/United States development program, began from an original concept developed in Australia by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in the early 1970s.

“Nulka is a state-of-the-art autonomous hovering rocket decoy that uses sophisticated electronic signals to ‘seduce’ anti-ship missiles away from their targets,” Mr Pyne said.

BAES Australia is the prime contractor responsible for the design, development, integration and support of the Nulka system. Full production under the current contract began in 1999 and has been supported by an Australian and United States industry supply chain. Final assembly of the decoys was completed at Defence’s Mulwala munitions factory in regional New South Wales.

“Valued at more than $1 billion, the current contract covered the manufacture of over 1400 Nulka decoys, spares and support equipment for the United States Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy.”

Pyne said acceptance of this final Nulka decoy does not represent the end of the Nulka program nor Australia’s Nulka partnership with the United States.

“Payload development and testing for the next generation of Nulka decoy to meet emerging threats is underway in conjunction with the United States with testing to date being successful,” Pyne said.

A decision on the next generation of the Nulka system is expected in 2018.

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