CENTURION® Trainable Naval Decoy Launcher

A new trainable Naval decoy launcher has been unveiled by the specialist countermeasure company Chemring Countermeasures Ltd (CCM).

At present most decoys are launched from static launchers with barrels set at fixed angles. However, the intrinsic capabilities of countermeasure design are maximised with accurate positioning of the deployed decoy or individual placement of sub-munitions. This is best achieved through a launching system that can be positioned in both azimuth and elevation. This also significantly reduces the need for ship manoeuvre.

CCM's new trainable launcher solution, CENTURION® , consists of 12 x 130mm calibre barrels mounted vertically on a turntable within a cover which is designed to reduce the launcher's Radar Cross Section. This unique approach to barrel layout minimises rotational and firing forces, and therefore structural requirements.

Co-inventors Andrew Barlow, Chief Design Engineer & Richard Lord Naval Consultant for Chemring Countermeasures Ltd

In operation, when an incoming missile is detected the system determines the appropriate response and rotates the turntable such that the required round is on the optimum bearing, the barrel is then depressed to the required firing angle as determined by the system algorithms - launcher positioning taking no more than 3 seconds. Positional accuracy is maintained through compensation of ship movement.

Whilst being compatible with the current Seagnat family and other existing 130mm countermeasure rounds, the CENTURION® launcher is being designed in conjunction with a family of new advanced Variable Range Rounds, which together allow payload placement to be controlled in 3 axes giving better ship replication and improved platform protection.

The electro-mechanical system weighs <1 tonne, has a deck footprint of <1.3 metres and azimuth and elevation slew rates >100°/sec and >75°/sec respectively. Because the barrels can be lowered they are easier to reload. The launcher design allows both wider and narrower calibre munitions to be accommodated.

A working prototype system is scheduled to be completed and have undertaken initial firings by the end of the year.