The RAN’s two Canberra class Landing Helicopter Docks (LHD) have completed the installation of their Nulka rocket-propelled active anti-ship missile decoy system following the completion of work on HMAS Adelaide.
The work was conducted under COVID-safe protocols at Sydney’s Garden Island facility, and saw the Nulka launch canisters installed midships on the top of the island structure between the forward and central masts. The Nulka is an Australian-designed electronic warfare system which comprises a hovering rocket that is launched and hovers away from the ship whilst emitting a radar signal designed to decoy incoming anti-ship missiles.
Pre-COVID, a BAE Systems Australia work crew would have travelled to Sydney to oversee the installation. But the work was instead accomplished by the RAN’s Fleet Support Unit (FSU) with the BAE team using remote technology to ensure the work was performed correctly.
“The safety and security of the nation is incredibly important at this time, and the pandemic has challenged us to look for new ways to continue to support (the) ADF,” BAE Systems Australia Defence Delivery Director, Andrew Gresham said in a September 10 statement. “The strong partnership we have with the RAN and our suppliers has ensured that together, we were able to meet this critical milestone that will help protect the ship and her crew.”
The RAN’s FSU Executive Director, CAPT Arran Melville added, “It is a collaborative effort that has delivered the best outcome – the HMAS Adelaide is now ready for re-deployment as scheduled giving the ship new capability and added protection. Given the challenges that we are facing due to COVID-19, this is an incredible achievement.
“Working together like this will further improve the partnership between FSU and Maritime Sustainment industry in the future and that means better capability delivered even more efficiently for our Royal Australian Navy as they work to protect Australia’s interests at sea,” CAPT Melville added.
Nulka is an Australian defence industry export success story, and is in service with the US Navy, the Royal Navy, and the Japanese Navy.
HMAS Canberra received her Nulka installation in early 2020, in time for her to participate in a joint task group deployment and several bilateral exercises in the western Pacific from June to August 2020.