Canberra tests anti-ship missile defence

This article has photo gallery Published on SBLT Max Logan (author), ABIS Tara Byrne (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Canberra (L02), Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER, Nulka active missile decoy

Leading Seaman Electronic Warfare operator Damien Jennings and Seaman Electronic Warfare operator Matthew McPherson manning the console in the Operations Room onboard HMAS Canberra during a Nulka trial as part of Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2018. (photo: ABIS Tara Byrne)
Leading Seaman Electronic Warfare operator Damien Jennings and Seaman Electronic Warfare operator Matthew McPherson manning the console in the Operations Room onboard HMAS Canberra during a Nulka trial as part of Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2018.

Amphibious ship HMAS Canberra has tested one of its key defensive capabilities off the south coast of New South Wales.

Upgrades to the Nulka anti-ship missile decoy system have been tested with the use of civilian aircraft including an underslung Nulka payload carried by helicopter and a Learjet simulating an incoming anti-ship missile.

The cutting-edge capability was tested as part of Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 2018 and in collaboration with Defence industry partners.

Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer Lieutenant Commander Mark Williams said the trial was an integral part of ensuring Navy’s ability to fight and win at sea.

“The Nulka is a hovering rocket decoy system that prevents anti-ship missiles from becoming a threat to our force,” he said.

“It forms a part of our layered defensive capability in the maritime environment.

“During the testing of new components, we aimed to increase the tactical effectiveness of the Nulka against anti-ship missiles.”

Navy works continually and cooperatively with industry and in this activity joined with the Defence Science and Technology Group, Air Affairs Australia and Kestrel Australia to conduct the trials at an opportune time during OCEAN EXPLORER 2018.

“We used fast jets fitted with missile simulators, and helicopters carrying a Nulka payload to generate a realistic missile engagement scenario,” Lieutenant Commander Williams said.

“The more effective Nulka is, the more enhanced will be the defence of our largest ships, the Landing Helicopter Docks.”

“Working with the Defence Science and Technology Group and other industry partners ensures that we are provided with up to date technology and leading-edge tactics.

Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER is one of the largest fleet training activities conducted by the Royal Australian Navy.