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MK 53 - Decoy Launching System (Nulka)

The MK 53 Decoy Launching System (DLS) (Nulka) is a rapid response Active Expendable Decoy (AED) System capable of providing highly effective defense for ships against modern Anti-Ship Missiles. Developed in cooperation with Australia, Nulka means 'be quick' in the Australian Aboriginal dialect. It is intended to counter a wide spectrum of present and future radar-guided Anti-Ship Missiles (ASMs). The system can either be integrated with the Combat System or used with the stand-alone Fire Control System. The MK 53 DLS contains up to six Nulka Launchers, associated Processor Power Supplies and a Decoy Launch Processor. It can be integrated with the legacy MK 36 DLS or stand alone. After launch, the Nulka decoy radiates a large, ship-like radar cross section while flying a trajectory that lures ASMs away from their intended targets. Australia developed the hovering rocket while the U.S. developed the electronic payload. The U.S. and Australia have developed their own fire control system. Nulka can be used for stand-alone ship protection, or as part of a multi-layer defense system. With the ever-changing complexity of Anti-Ship Missiles, Nulka can be continually upgraded in order to provide protection to the Fleet. Likely changes will include technology advancements as well as tactical and technical changes to counter the threat.
Anti-Air Warfare (AAW)
Nulka received approval for full-rate production in January 1999. Installation began on U.S. and Australian warships in September 1999. As of 2018, the MK 53 DLS is installed on more than 122 U.S. ships, along with the Australian Navy and will be in service well into the 21st century.
Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)
Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, D.C. 20376
General Characteristics
Platforms: U.S. Classes: DDG 51, CG 47, CVNs, LSD 41/49, LPD 17, LHA6 and WMSL (USCG)
Australian Classes: ADELAIDE (O.H.Perry) FFG, ANZAC FFH, and Hobart Class DDG
Last Update: 16 January 2019