IDEX 2019

Decoys at sea [IDEX19D5]

21 February 2019

French countermeasures and pyrotechnics group Lacroix Defense (Stand 07-B47) is showcasing its Sylena family of decoy launching systems at IDEX 2019. Designed to provide soft-kill protection for ships from patrol boats up to frigates, Sylena employs Lacroix’s SEACLAD family of decoys – more than 10,000 of which have been delivered to date – to counter missiles using radio frequency (RF) or imaging infrared (IIR) seekers. Another SEACLAD decoy is available for torpedo defence.

Sylena uses simple fixed launchers located on the ship upper decks. Lacroix claims omnidirectional (360°) protection, regardless of the threat’s relative bearing, thanks to the omnidirectional characteristics of the decoy payloads deployed.

While many naval decoy launching systems deploy chaff, Sylena utilises a different countermeasures payload in the form of corner reflector (CNR) technology. According to Lacroix, the discrimination logic used in modern radar seeker systems has rendered chaff ineffective.

The company argues that a CNR payload – embodied in the SEALEM decoy round – provides a far more realistic RF response over a broad frequency band, adding: “Trainable launchers are not required to deploy corner reflector centroid seduction, making [Sylena] a cost-effective solution.”

The SEALIR IIR decoy is also part of Lacroix’s SEACLAD decoy family. The composition of this single-burst decoy is intended to produce a ship-like infrared signature that emulates hot spots on the ship.

Lacroix offers three versions of Sylena to meet market requirements for scalability. Sylena LW is a lightweight system optimised for smaller vessels such as patrol craft and offshore patrol vessels. This variant, which uses twin lightweight launchers, is in service on the Royal Navy of Oman’s four Al-Ofouqclass offshore patrol vessels.

Sylena Mk 1 and Mk 2 are designed for corvettes, frigates and destroyers, and have a larger-capacity launcher. Whereas the Mk 1 variant fires anti-missile decoys only (SEALEM and SEALIR), the Mk 2 also provides a capability to deploy the SEALATCANTO broadband active acoustic countermeasure.

Sylena Mk 2 has been selected for Gowind corvette programmes in Egypt (El Fateh class) and Malaysia (Kapal Kombat Litoral/ Littoral Combat Ship).

(339 words)