The Australian Government has approved an upgrade of the Nulka active missile decoy defence system, as part of the SEA 1397 Phase 5B project.
With an overall investment of between $100m and $300m, work under the initial development of the updated launch system is expected to be carried out by BAE Systems Australia, and will involve engineering design and risk-reduction activities.
Defence Minister Senator David Johnston said: "I am pleased to be able to announce that the government has approved [the] first pass for SEA 1397 Phase 5B, [the] Nulka launch sub-system upgrade, including around $45m in funding.
"This project aims to update and replace the existing Nulka launch sub-system for Australian ships."
Built by Australia and the US in the 1990s, the Nulka anti-ship missile defence system is currently operational with the Royal Australian Navy and the navies of the US and Canada.
The new system is mainly aimed at updating the launch system with new technology, while improving its effectiveness. It is expected that it will be integrated onto 166 ships worldwide.
Vessels receiving the updated system include the Australian Navy's Anzac-class frigates and Hobart-class destroyers. Future integration on the Canberra-class amphibious vessels is also planned.
The latest modernisation programme will increase protection against anti-ship missiles.