From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Nulka decoy being launched from a warship

Nulka is an Australian-designed and -developed active missile decoy built by an American/Australian collaboration.[1][2] Used aboard warships of the United States Navy (USN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), United States Coast Guard (USCG), and Royal Canadian Navy, Nulka is a rocket-propelled, disposable, offboard, active decoy designed to lure anti-ship missiles away from their targets. It has a unique design in that it hovers in mid-air while drawing the incoming anti-ship missile. The hovering rocket concept was initiated in Australia by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), and the system was designed, developed and then manufactured by AWA Defence Industries (AWADI) (now BAE Systems Australia). BAE refers to Nulka as a "soft-kill defence system".[3] The word "Nulka" is of Australian Aboriginal origin and means "be quick".

The Nulka consists of the missile itself enclosed in a hermetically sealed canister. This canister is then contained in a launcher module (as fitted to RAN and USCG vessels), or a Mark 36 launcher (as fitted to USN vessels).

By July 2017, Nulka had been fitted to more than 150 Australian, Canadian and United States warships[3] and over 1,400 decoys had been produced.[4] As of October 2010 it was expected that the system would be fitted to US Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carriers as well as Australia's future destroyers.[5] This made the system Australia's most successful defence export.[6]

In 2012 Lockheed Martin announced that it had successfully tested its new ExLS (Extensible Launching System) for Nulka. The tests were conducted at the Woomera Test Range, Australia.[7]

On 9 October 2016, the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason deployed its Nulka decoy when it and two other US warships, USS Ponce and USS Nitze, came under fire by two missiles fired by Houthi rebels off the Yemeni coast around 7 PM local time.[8]

See also[]


  1. ^ Pike, John; Sherman, Robert (30 June 1999). "MK-53 Nulka Decoy Launching System (DLS)". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  2. ^ "SEA 1397 - Project Nulka". Defence Materiel Organisation. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b "Nulka". BAE Systems. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  4. ^ "BAE Systems awarded $50M Nulka contract". BAE Systems. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  5. ^ Kerr, Julian (23 October 2010). "Nulka missile decoys to guard US carriers". The Australian. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  6. ^ "One Thousand Rounds of Applause For Nulka". BAE Systems. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  7. ^ "New launch system for Nulka from Lockheed". Australian Defence Magazine. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  8. ^ LaGrone, Sam (11 October 2016). "USS Mason Fired 3 Missiles to Defend from Yemen Cruise Missiles Attack". USNI News. Retrieved 11 October 2016.

Further reading[]

  • Don Northam, David Gambling, Mal Crozier (2013). NULKA : A Compelling story (PDF). Canberra: Defence Science and Technology Organisation. ISBN 9780987544704.
Retrieved from ""