February 1, 2019

Development of Soft-kill Tactics for Anzac Frigate Self Defence

This report describes procedures and software tools developed at DTA for finding soft-kill tactics to be employed by Rheinmetall’s Multi Ammunition Softkill System (MASS) aboard NZ’s upgraded Anzac frigates. MASS is a trainable system capable of launching chaff rounds out to 2000 m with the purpose of distracting or seducing incoming anti-ship missile (ASM) threats. The frigates’ combat management system (CMS) is supplied with basic tactics but needs comprehensive doctrine to provide a fully automated response to different ASMs. This study uses BAE’s Ship Air Defence Model (SADM) to test soft-kill scenarios which can then yield settings for the CMS. SADM is capable of modelling the Anzac frigate’s on-board systems such as MASS and search radar in some detail. DTA has developed third-party software tools to control SADM and allow parameter sweeps or optimization schemes to be applied in order to determine optimum chaff launch configurations. We find that, for the missile selected in calm weather conditions, a single chaff round is sufficient to provide close to 100% frigate protection via distraction against an incoming ASM. In this case, the chaff round should be launched slightly behind the ASM’s incoming trajectory relative to the frigate’s heading. The ASM will then see the chaff cloud before the frigate and remain locked on while the frigate sails ahead out of harm’s way. The effectiveness of a single chaff round is reduced in the presence of wind but survivability of the frigate can be brought back to close to the original high levels by making a correction for wind.

Read this report [PDF : 2.5 MB, 51 pages]