COUNTY NEWS: Warship’s ‘soft kills’ exercise off Sussex coast

HMS Iron Duke. Picture copyright Royal Navy
HMS Iron Duke. Picture copyright Royal Navy

A Royal Navy warship has tested its ‘soft kill’ systems in a rare series of firings off the Sussex 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.

Petty Officer (Electronic Warfare) Alan Hunt said: “Having worked with these rounds for 18 years and only trained with drill rounds, and only got as far as loading live decoys, it’s very impressive and reassuring to actually use all the different decoy systems on board HMS Iron Duke. Hopefully this will become a far more regular serial in the future.”

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.

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