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Nulka program nears major milestone

Nulka decoy missile in flight
The award winning Nulka defence system will achieve another major milestone in 2010 with the delivery of the 1 000th production round.

Prime contractor BAE Systems today confirmed that the Nulka active missile decoy had now been fitted to more than 130 warships providing each vessel with a highly effective all-weather defence against anti-ship missiles.

The system is the result of more than three decades of collaborative development between Australia and the US, and brings together hovering rocket, autonomous system and electronic technologies to seduce enemy missiles away from their target.

Peter Osbourne, BAE Systems Export Manager, said today that although Nulka had been in service with the Royal Australian, US and Canadian Navies for more than a decade, it remained the most effective soft-kill system available.

“Nulka was a revolutionary concept when first conceived, and remains a unique technical approach to countering modern anti-ship missiles,” Mr Osbourne said.

“The design challenges involved in developing a rocket able to balance on its own thrust were considerable. The enduring effectiveness of Nulka against the new generation of faster, more agile anti-ship missiles however, amply demonstrates the value of this approach.

“In oceans around the globe, Australian, US and Canadian navies rely on BAE Systems Australia’s Nulka technology to protect their warships.”

Mr Osbourne said the system would also be fitted to Australia’s new Air Warfare Destroyers.

Designed to be used as part of a multi-layered defence system or for stand-alone ship protection Nulka is Australia’s largest regular defence export, with annual sales of more than AUD $40 million.