BAE Systems Australia has signed an AU$150 million contract for the continued development, procurement and sustainment of the Nulka system, which will strengthen Australia’s sovereign technical expertise and the skills base that supports it. It is deployed on more than 140 surface combat ships in the US, Australian and Canadian navies and is the nation’s largest and most successful regular defence export. Nulka uses a rocket-propelled active missile decoy system to lure incoming missiles away from ships, to protect them and their crews. The new, five year contract is the culmination of decades of collaboration between the Commonwealth of Australia, BAE Systems Australia and Australian industry partners.
BAE Systems Australia Managing Director Defence Delivery Andrew Gresham said:“The new contract will ensure that the next generation of Royal Australian Navy warships have the most effective anti-ship missile defence and that we continue to keep Australian and allied nations’ servicemen and women safe, both here and abroad. “This contract will enable Australia to secure and strengthen its position as the world leader in the evolution of technologies at the heart of Nulka. As a long-term partner of the Commonwealth in this program, the new contract underpins our shared aspirations for the future development of this sovereign capability.”
It brings together the continued development, acquisition and sustainment of the Nulka system into one contract with the Australian Government, as well as international customers in the US. Nulka relies on a strong Australian supply chain and supports high-tech manufacturing in regional centres through the involvement of suppliers, including Milspec Engineering & Thales Australia. The new Nulka contract will sustain roles on the program across three states and provide for the efficient acquisition, sustainment and development of the Nulka system. The new contract started on 1 February 2021.
The Nulka system is the result of a collaborative development between Australia and the US, and brings together advanced flight vehicle guidance and control techniques. The unique flight vehicle design allows the decoy’s flight-path to be maintained with a high degree of precision over a wide range of environmental conditions, resulting in extremely high levels of mission effectiveness against modern anti-ship missiles. Nulka has been integrated with Arleigh Burke DDG, Ticonderoga CG, Oliver Hazard Perry FFG (Australian Adelaide Class FFG), San Antonio LPD, Whidbey Island LPD, Bertholf, ANZAC FFH and Iroquois DDG class ships. Future installations are planned for the Royal Australian Navy’s Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) and Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD).