The system, developed in collaboration with the United States in the 1990s, is a rocket propelled decoy with the ability to hover in-air to lure incoming missiles from their target. They are in service on Royal Australian and U.S. Navy ships.
"I am pleased to be able to announce that the government has approved First Pass for SEA 1397 Phase 5B -- Nulka launch sub-system upgrade, including around $45 million in funding," Minister for Defense David Johnston said. "This project aims to update and replace the existing Nulka launch sub-system for Australian ships."
According to Australia's Department of Defense, the current fire control and launcher sub-systems of the Nulka have obsolescence and sustainment issues and the project will enhance system effectiveness.
"Initial development of the updated launch system is proposed to be conducted by BAE Systems Australia, the original equipment manufacturer of the Nulka capability, however there may be opportunities for wider Australian industry involvement as the project progresses," the department said.
The preliminary approval, also called First Pass approval, initiates engineering design and risk reduction activities.