Active Missile Decoy System

The NULKA Decoy is designed to lure incoming missiles away from surface ships.

Australian, and Canadian surface combatants have been fitted with NULKA.

Sippican manufactures the payload for the NULKA decoy and British Aerospace manufactures the rocket.

NULKA is an active missile decoy system that provides effective all-weather self-protection for naval vessels against anti-ship missiles.
It can be used as part of a multilayer defence system or for stand-alone ship protection.

Information on the threat is provided by the ship's electronic support measures system or other equipment and NULKA uses this information to calculate the optimum launch time and trajectory for the decoy.

The NULKA system allows for automatic or operator designation of a missile threat and, upon designation of a particular threat, will respond rapidly by launching an autonomous airborne decoy. Prior to launch the system calculates the optimum decoy flight trajectory for the mission and programmes that trajectory data into the decoy's flight control unit.

With its programmable and controllable flight path, the rocket hovers and positions itself to provide a more attractive target for the threat missile.

The hovering rocket decoy air vehicle is held in a hermetically sealed canister which acts as a lifetime storage container, as well as the launch tube for the decoy. It is propelled by a solid fuel rocket motor.

Control of the decoy's flight is achieved by a thrust control mechanism which acts on the motor's efflux, and a spin control unit mounted on top of the decoy.

After preflight programming from the launcher processor, the decoy's flight trajectory is determined by a digital flight control unit mounted immediately above the rocket motor. The combination of thrust and flight control enables successful launches to be made in severe sea state and high wind conditions.

The hovering flight characteristics of the decoy vehicle permit the effective use of the Sippican payload with wide area coverage, thus enabling one decoy to counter multiple threats. Once launched, the decoy operates autonomously and following its stored flight commands, moves away from the ship at its preprogrammed height and speed to present an alternative and more attractive target to incoming missiles.

Fire Control-Unit

As well as providing back-up for ships fitted with combat and fire-control systems, the Fire-Control System (FCS) allows NULKA to be installed and operated on ships not having these systems. The FCS accepts the minimum input data required either automatically from the electronic support measures system or manually from an operator. With its own processor, the FCS manages the launching of decoys from multiple launchers located around the ship.
Operational status

In Australian service, NULKA is to be fitted to `ANZAC' and `Adelaide' class frigates together with (in the longer term) offshore patrol vessels.

British Aerospace Australia Ltd
Melbourne, Victoria.

Sippican Inc

Marion, Massachusetts,
(decoy payload).

Currently the is system fitted on 4 x RAN FFGs (not yet on Syd and Adel), and on HMAS WARRAMUNGA (so far) and 2 of the Canadian TRUMP Class (Iroquois and Athabaskan).

The decoy (Nulka) is launched at a pre-determined time which is calculated upon the type of threat (anti-ship missile) and its range.

The decoy then launches to a point in space and decoys the missile away from the ship.

Each launcher holds 4 rounds, each round is inside a canister for environmental and screening reasons.

On the RAN and Canadian ships the System consists of 1 Primary Fire Control Panel on the bridge, 1 Secondary FCP in the OPS room, and 4 launchers fed via 4 PPSs (Processor Power Supply) units.

On the Canadian and FFG ships there is also a unit called the RIM (Remote Interface Module) which is basically the unit that interfaces between:

a. the UYK43 computer and Synchro data on a FFG

b. the Canews EW system on the Canadian ships

On ANZAC class the system as described above, is interfaced to the C2 Combat Sys LAN via SIUs (Standard Interface Units) which are essentially nodes on the combat LAN. The RIM is not used.

Nulka Movie - Click here for a picture image sequence of a Nulka Firing - (Windows Media)

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