Buoyed by recent export success, UK-based Airborne Systems (UK Pavilion, Stand B-052) is pushing the merits of its FDS3 inflatable floating corner reflector decoy at NAVDEX 2015. Based on the latest version of the Royal Navy’s Outfit DLF soft-kill decoy system, FDS3 is a ship-deployed, passive radio frequency (RF) countermeasure that can be used in seduction, distraction and confusion roles against even the most modern RF missile seekers.
The FDS3 system comprises a deck-mounted launch tube, which is preloaded with the stowed decoy.
Following launch activation in the operations room, the decoy package – of ‘metallised fabric’ construction – is launched out of the tube and then fully inflated alongside the ship’s hull on the sea surface.
Once fully inflated, the decoy is automatically released and floats free past the stern. According to Airborne Systems, the very rapid deployment and inflation time “means that full radar cross-section is achieved within seconds of launch into the sea… this provides for a very effective seduction capability suitable for use against supersonic and late turn-on threats”.
In September 2013, Airborne Systems announced a contract award from the US Navy to supply a variant of the FDS3 decoy system – designated Mk 59 Mod 0 – to meet a rapid response effort for improved soft-kill self-defence. In July 2014, it chalked up another success when New Zealand selected FDS3 as part of its ANZAC class Frigate Systems Upgrade programme.