by Richard Tomkins
Canberra, Australia (UPI) Oct 1, 2014
A launch sub-system for the Nulka missile decoy deployed on Royal Australian Navy ships is to be upgraded by BAE Systems Australia.
The country's Defense Materiel Organization said the contracts were issued by its Maritime Electronic Warfare Systems Program Office and have a combined total of nearly $68.9 million.
As well as the upgrade, the contracts cover production of the system, developed in collaboration with the United States, not only for Royal Australian Navy ships but for U.S. Navy ships also using the system.
"These contracts support both the acquisition of Nulka decoys and the engineering design of the next generation of shipboard Nulka launch systems for the Royal Australian Navy," said Defense Materiel Organization Chief Executive Officer Warren King.
"These contracts will ensure the development of technical solutions in support of ongoing Nulka capability for the Navy and integration of the system onto both current and future Navy platforms."
Nulka is a rocket-propelled, disposable decoy that hovers in the air and draws an incoming missile away from a targeted ship.
BAE Systems Australia said the upgrade contract includes design and qualification work. The upgrade will apply to Nulka systems on existing and new Royal Australian Navy ships, including the ANZAC Class Frigates, the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers and the Canberra Class Amphibious Ships.
Details on the upgrade, however, were not disclosed.
"This is a significant milestone for the Nulka program -- the delivery of this capability will assure that the next generation of RAN warships will have the most effective soft-kill anti-ship missile defense," said Steve Drury, director of Aerospace, BAE Systems Australia.
The contract for the work came in force on Oct. 1.
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