Navy asks L3Harris to provide missile-defense electronic warfare (EW) payloads to protect surface warships

Sept. 15, 2022
ADAP payloads lure missiles away from their intended targets with advanced electronic techniques, and are an upgrade to the existing Nulka decoy.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy shipboard electronic warfare (EW) experts are asking L3Harris Technologies Inc. to build special EW payloads to help protect Navy warships from enemy anti-ship cruise missiles.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $31.7 million order last week for the MK 234 Nulka Advanced Decoy Architecture Program (ADAP)-series payloads.

The ADAP missile-defense payload provides an advanced EW transmitter and increased signal processing capability to target specific threats that the current payload on the shipboard Nulka decoy does not.

ADAP payloads are designed to lure missiles away from their intended targets with advanced electronic techniques. The ADAP payloads are an upgrade to the existing Nulka decoy.

Related: Lockheed Martin to build electronic warfare (EW) systems to protect surface warships from anti-ship missiles

Nulka is a joint program with Australia, and is in service with the Australian, Canadian, and U.S. navies to protect surface warships. Nulka consists of the MK 53 decoy-launching system and MK 234 offboard active decoy to defeat hostile anti-ship missiles.

The MK 53 DLS consists of a decoy launch processor, launching power supplies, and from two to six launchers depending on the ship class. Each launcher can store and launch two Nulka decoys. The MK 53 DLS provides the launch authorization and flight demands to the Nulka decoy when a Nulka engagement is initiated.

The MK 53 DLS has been installed on U.S. Ticonderoga-class cruisers, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, as well as on Whidbey Island- and Harpers Ferry-class amphibious assault ships.

On this order L3Harris will do the work Clifton, N.J., and should be finished by June 2025. For more information contact L3Harris online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

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