The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has contracted BAE Systems Australia for round production of the next-generation Nulka decoys and launcher systems.

The five-year $116m (A$150m) contract is part of Australia’s commitment to continue exporting ‘crucial technology’ as part of a joint Australian and US programme.

BAE Systems will also provide in-service support of the systems as part of the agreement.

The company will use an ‘extensive supplier network of small-to-medium Australian companies in metropolitan and regional areas’.

Built by an American/Australian collaboration, Nulka is a rocket-propelled active missile decoy system launched from a ship. It is designed to draw anti-ship missiles away from their intended target.

It uses advanced hovering rocket, an autonomous system, as well as electronic technologies to provide frigates with an effective, ‘all-weather defence’ against anti-ship missiles.

Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “Nulka is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most significant Defence exports.

“The joint contract continues the Morrison Government’s investment in the Nulka programme and, crucially, will maintain about 60 jobs in Victoria, 15 in South Australia, and 15 in New South Wales.

“Nulka is fitted to both Australian and United States Navy warships and forms part of the anti-ship missile capabilities that provide protection to personnel.

“This contract will see the next generation of Nulka capability fitted to the Royal Australian Navy’s new platforms, such as the Hunter Class frigates.”

The Nulka decoy system was first installed on Royal Australia Navy (RAN) surface ships during the 1990s.

It is currently fitted on the Canberra Class landing helicopter dock (LHD), Anzac Class frigates and Hobart destroyers.