Australian Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has confirmed that the final Nulka missile decoy developed under a contract with BAE Systems Australia has been successfully delivered.
The deal saw BAE Systems design, produce and integrate the Nulka missile decoy system in the capacity of primary contractor, as well as provide various support services.
Pyne said: “Nulka is a state-of-the-art autonomous hovering rocket decoy that uses sophisticated electronic signals to ‘seduce’ anti-ship missiles away from their targets.”
Nulka is a joint Australian / US development programme based around an original concept devised by Australia's Defence Science and Technology Organisation in the early 1970s, Pyne also stated.
Full production under the current $1bn contract initially began in 1999, and has subsequently been supported by a large section of the Australian and US industry supply chains.
Final assembly of the missile decoys has been completed at the Australian Defence’s Mulwala munitions factory, which is located in New South Wales.
The current contract involved the production of more than 1,400 Nulka decoys, spares and support equipment, which is intended for delivery to the US Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy.
Pyne notes that the acceptance of the final Nulka missile decoy does not mark the end of the Nulka programme, nor does it signal the conclusion of Australia’s Nulka partnership with the US.
He further added: “The long-term relationships established through this highly successful programme will continue with the development of the next generation of Nulka, ensuring the jobs of around 100 Australians.
“Payload development and testing for the next generation of Nulka decoy to meet emerging threats are underway in conjunction with the US with testing to date being successful.”
A decision on the production of the next-generation Nulka missile decoy system is expected to be taken next year.