Qioptiq logo Raytheon


By Julian Nettlefold

11 Nov 10. BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold attended the launch of the Chemring Countermeasures Ltd (CCM) CENTURION. The launch, which included a successful test firing successfully demonstrated their concept for the innovative, fully trainable 12 barrel 130mm calibre naval decoy launcher, CENTURIONTM. The demonstrations, which included dynamic positioning, loading and a salvo firing, took place on 10th & 11th November, to an audience of End Users, Industry and Media representatives followed the first test firing of CENTURION™ on 20 October, just 15 months from conception of the idea.

CENTURION™ offers the ultimate Soft Kill solution for all naval platforms to counter current, emerging and future threats. A unique feature of the launcher is the vertical storage of the rounds on a rotating plinth, thereby minimising firing and rotational forces. The whole assembly is enclosed within a Radar Cross Section (RCS) reduction cover, which also provides a level of protection from the elements. In operation, the cover and plinth independently rotate to the demanded azimuth bearing, the barrel is then depressed to the required firing elevation, and this positioning is achieved in less than 3 seconds.

Compatible with all 130mm countermeasures, including ASW variants, CENTURION optimises the performance of existing active and passive decoys, but it has been developed in conjunction with CCMs’ latest family of Variable Range advanced rounds, thus providing a complete Soft Kill solution.

The rounds in the Variable Range family include multi-payload Seduction decoys containing IR, RF or Obscurants, and high performance Distraction rounds. The variants will have data interfaces with the Control Computer. This interface enables an “any round in any barrel” strategy thereby maximising out load optimisation and providing excellent response to multiple attacks.

Of innovative design that allows a small deck footprint, no deck penetration, low Through Life Cost and maximum flexibility to embrace future requirements, CENTURION delivers accurate positioning of the decoy thus maximising ship replication and therefore platform protection.

“This is a major step change in Soft Kill capability which conveys many very significant advantages to the maritime commander, in particular , being able to achieve the optimum firing solution with minimum ship manoeuvre”, says Steve Kerchey, Senior Business Manager Naval, “CENTURION™ is an exciting project that is attracting much interest from major companies and customers”.

The growing sophistication of anti-ship missile guidance systems has led to research into and development of, equally sophisticated passive and active countermeasures. Maximising the capabilities of these products critically depends upon 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 feature gives the added advantage of significantly reducing the need for ship manoeuvre to achieve a solution against RF, IR or Dual mode anti ship missiles.

Whilst fully compatible with existing Rounds, including ASW Variants, the
12 x 130mm barrelled launcher is being designed in conjunction with a family of new advanced Variable Range Rounds. The combination of a trainable launcher and variable range rounds allow payload placement to be controlled
in 3 axes giving better ship replication.

With its unique low moment of inertia design features, short reaction time, high positional accuracy and outstanding versatility, the CENTURION trainable launcher offers the perfect solution for soft kill defence, today and into the future.

CENTURION™ Trainable Launcher Features

Significantly increased ship protection with minimum ship manoeuvre against the most challenging multiple anti-ship missile attacks

Back to article list