JED - October 2016 - 25

SYSTEM SOLUTIONS

A crewman on the guided missile destroyer USS Stout loads a Mk 214 RF seduction round into a Mk
36 DLS barrel. Many navies still rely on the Mk 36 DLS and similar fixed barrel 130-mm launchers.
(US Navy)

fired from highly mobile coastal batteries and small fast craft, naval EW
advocates argue that it is time to think
afresh about the contribution of softkill as part of a rebalanced ASMD capability. In particular, the emergence
of increasingly potent anti-access/area
denial (A2/AD) threats in cluttered
and congested littoral regions, and the

ability of would-be adversaries to use
unconventional targeting methods,
present a new challenge to the maritime
force commander. There is also an increasingly diverse threat set to contend
with - the differentiators including
speed, signature, endgame kinematics
and seeker type - the confines of the
littoral serve to constrain a ship's ma-

The modern soft-kill decoy system
comprises three principal components: a
command and control (C2) system computing the optimum firing solution on
the basis of ship heading, speed, wind
and bearing, the threat bearing and the
type of threat; a launcher from which
the countermeasures effectors are fired
offboard; and the decoys themselves.
The latter typically take the form of
mortar-launched or rocket-propelled
projectiles, which burst at a set range
and height to release a payload (RF
chaff, inflatable RF corner reflectors, IR
material, dual RF/IR payloads, or multispectral decoys). A handful of navies
have invested in more complex active
offboard decoys, such as Nulka, C-GEM
and Siren, and which use an electronic
jammer payload to seduce the most advanced radar threat seekers.
Debates on the relative merits of
fixed and traversable launcher systems
have raged for many years. Conventional
fixed launchers use crossed barrel sets
or parallel mountings (typically trained
to 30º and 110º from the ship's head),
but usually require the ship to maneuver
to achieve a good deployment geometry
relative to the ship and the incoming
ASCM and ensure that the decoy presents a more attractive target to the
missile seeker. This can cost valuable
time in a missile engagement. Trainable
launchers (able to traverse and elevate)
minimize the need for a commander to
maneuver his ship and offer greater tactical flexibility for applications in the
seduction mode, although at the ex-

The Journal of Electronic Defense | October 2016

neuver space, and may expose it to salvo
attacks from multiple axes.
Another issue is sustainability. Vertical launcher cells are a scarce asset
in many ships, and they cannot be reloaded at sea, making a strong case for
the use of soft-kill to defeat the majority of incoming ASCMs in a coordinated
attack in order that hard-kill weapons
can be husbanded for the most stressing ASCM targets.
Cost also comes into consideration.
A typical point defense missile costs in
the order of US$500,000 to USD$1 million; a soft-kill response is orders of
magnitude less expensive.

25



JED - October 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - October 2016

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
Bait in the Trap: Trainable Soft-Kill Systems Proliferate for ASMD
2017 EW/SIGINT Resource Guide
SIGINT History
EW 101
AOC News
Index to Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - October 2016 - cover1
JED - October 2016 - cover2
JED - October 2016 - 3
JED - October 2016 - 4
JED - October 2016 - 5
JED - October 2016 - The View From Here
JED - October 2016 - 7
JED - October 2016 - Conferences Calendar
JED - October 2016 - 9
JED - October 2016 - Courses Calendar
JED - October 2016 - 11
JED - October 2016 - From the President
JED - October 2016 - 13
JED - October 2016 - 14
JED - October 2016 - The Monitor
JED - October 2016 - insert1
JED - October 2016 - insert2
JED - October 2016 - 16
JED - October 2016 - 17
JED - October 2016 - 18
JED - October 2016 - 19
JED - October 2016 - 20
JED - October 2016 - 21
JED - October 2016 - World Report
JED - October 2016 - 23
JED - October 2016 - Bait in the Trap: Trainable Soft-Kill Systems Proliferate for ASMD
JED - October 2016 - 25
JED - October 2016 - 26
JED - October 2016 - 27
JED - October 2016 - 28
JED - October 2016 - 29
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JED - October 2016 - 38
JED - October 2016 - 39
JED - October 2016 - 2017 EW/SIGINT Resource Guide
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JED - October 2016 - 42
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JED - October 2016 - 64
JED - October 2016 - SIGINT History
JED - October 2016 - 66
JED - October 2016 - 67
JED - October 2016 - EW 101
JED - October 2016 - 69
JED - October 2016 - AOC News
JED - October 2016 - 71
JED - October 2016 - Index to Advertisers
JED - October 2016 - 73
JED - October 2016 - JED Quick Look
JED - October 2016 - cover3
JED - October 2016 - cover4
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