HMS Iron Duke Tests “Soft Kill” Systems

The Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke has tested its ‘soft kill’ systems in a rare series of firings off UK’s South coast.

Designed to seduce, distract or confuse an incoming missile, the Sea Gnat and DLF were both used in the practice session – and it was the first time for many of the sailors on board.

Sea Gnat is a collection of launchers that deploy flares and ‘chaff’ into the air to draw any incoming missiles away from the ship while DLF sends out a large inflatable decoy that attracts missiles with an active radar homing device.

The ‘soft kill’ systems differ from their ‘hard kill’ counterparts which are designed to destroy any missiles heading for the ship.

The firings were part of a trial by DSTL who had a team embarked on HMS Iron Duke and a team ashore to monitor the system’s performance by gathering all the necessary data.

The weapon engineer department also took the opportunity to practise their drills for responding to an incident with a weapon. Potentially extremely dangerous, it is important the sailors regularly test themselves to respond appropriately in an emergency.

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Image: Royal Navy

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