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"Royal" Recognition for Australian Engineer


LONDON, United Kingdom - One of the Australian pioneers of a revolutionary decoy system helping to protect Australian warships from missile attack has received a prestigious international award.

The Royal Aeronautical Society today (11 December) awarded a gold medal to BAE Systems Australia Chief Designer Malcolm Crozier for his innovative work on hovering rocket technology that led to the Nulka Active Missile Decoy System.

The Royal Aeronautical Society has been honouring outstanding achievers in the global aerospace industry since 1908, when Wilbur and Orville Wright came to London to receive the Society’s first two Gold Medals.

A rocket propelled active decoy designed to lure anti-ship missiles away from intended targets, Nulka systems are now installed on 120 Australian, United States and Canadian combat ships.

Mr Crozier has been involved with the Nulka program for most of his working life, from its early origins within the Australian Defence Science Technology Organisation (DSTO) through to his role with BAE Systems Australia today.

“In the late 1960s, following the sinking of an Israeli destroyer by a radar homing missile, the DSTO was asked to investigate defences against this class of weapon,” Mr Crozier said"At that time, I was the junior member of a two person team tasked to study innovative flight vehicles to carry the electronic decoy payload.

“From these humble beginnings, and more than 30 years of design, development and testing later, the operational Nulka decoy system has emerged,” he said.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Jim McDowell said Mal Crozier had led the development of a unique digital flight control system and sensor system that facilitated the radically different flight regime of the Nulka hovering rocket decoy system

“He then led the engineering development of the production flight vehicle for the US and Australian navies, overcoming many technological challenges on the way to its successful introduction,” Mr McDowell said.

"Mal has continued to lead development of the operational system, introducing several technology upgrades to maintain its capability.

“This award by the Royal Aeronautical Society recognises the outstanding contribution that he has made over several decades and is the latest in a long list of well deserved tributes for his work,” Mr McDowell added.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor responsible for the Nulka system design and integration. Two major US sub-contractors, Lockheed Martin and Aerojet, manufacture the electronic warfare (EW) payload and the rocket motor respectively.


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