Lacroix supplies major navies worldwide with its SYLENA system, among which are the Egyptian Gowind-class corvettes by Naval Group and the Royal Omani Navy’s Al Ofouq-class OPVs. The UAE entered a deal with France in 2017 for the procurement of two Gowind-class corvettes. In this context, we asked Lacroix how their system could benefit the UAE Navy.
Naval News – Why is the SYLENA Mk2 the right decoy launching system for the future Gowind corvettes of the U.A.E Navy ?
Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix – Decoy Launching System (DLS) SYLENA is one of the only system using state of the art Corner Reflector (CNR) Technology able to defeat new generation of radar missile seekers contrary to other DLS using obsolete Chaff Technology. Thanks to the inherent qualities of corner reflectors (360° omnidirectional RCS), SYLENA launchers are non trainable and therefore highly reliable and do not require costly maintenance unlike mobile chaff launchers. SYLENA launchers are light, compact and fully blend in the stealthy design of Gowind Corvettes.
The cost effective design of our launchers makes it a very interesting solution for both modernisation and new programmes such as the future Gowind corvettes for the UAE Navy. SYLENA has been successfully integrated in the main current Combat Management Systems (CMS) among which we can name Setis or Tacticos.
Finally, beyond CNR decoys, SYLENA MK2 launcher fires Infrared (IR) decoys and Anti-Torpedo counter measure ammunition CANTO® and is therefore an exhaustive solution of self-protection for the UAE Navy against anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.
Naval News – Is the SYLENA family of launchers already in service with navies in the Gulf / Middle East region?
Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix – Lacroix supplies Major Navies worldwide with its DLS SYLENA. Among which we can mention the Egyptian Gowind Class Corvettes constructed by Naval Group and the Royal Omani Navy on Al Ofouq Class vessels.
Naval News – Regarding Lacroix’s decoys (ammunition), what is your key technical advantage over the competition?
Olivier Priouzeau, Lacroix – Before delving in the technical advantages of Lacroix’s decoys, it is important to underscore that our historical expertise of more than 170 years is an indicator of the critical importance placed on developing cutting-edge technologies to remain in the never-ending endeavor between countermeasure (CM) vs counter-counter-measure (CCM).
Lacroix’s corner reflector (CNR) decoys (SEALEM) are closing the technology gap between old Chaff solutions and the increasing CCM capabilities of Radio Frequency (RF) guided missiles. A notable breakthrough in the domain of CCMs in Anti-Ship Missiles (ASM) are millimetric wave seekers. To be able to decoy a millimetric wave seeker operating in Ka-band or above it is necessary to cut chaff to the required length in order to be tuned with the wavelength of the radar which is a real technological challenge due to the small size. CNR decoys on the other hand are broadband and are therefore effective in I, J and all the way up to K band.
In the same vein, CNR decoys have an equal polarization ratio contrary to chaff. Indeed, Chaff dipoles tend to fall horizontally which can easily be discriminated by a vertically polarized antenna.
Lacroix combines salvos of CNR decoys with IR decoys. Lacroix’s IR decoy technology (SEALIR) relies on three core elements. First, SEALIR has an IR spectrum similar to a ship, which makes it effective against bi-colour seekers. Second, SEALIR technology offers long lasting effects with a single payload per engagement consistent with the increasing duration requirement to avoid discrimination based on strong level/time fluctuations due to firing renewal. Third, SEALIR is a morphologic funnel-like decoy capable of replicating the main signature contributors (exhaust & funnel) effective against IIR seekers.
According to Lacroix, SYLENA is the only system using state-of-the-art corner reflector technology capable of defeating the latest generation of radar missile seekers as opposed to other decoy launchers employing obsolete chaff technology.
Thanks to the inherent qualities of corner reflectors, SYLENA launchers are fixed and do not require costly maintenance unlike mobile chaff launchers. Corner rreflector decoys are closing the gap between outdated chaff solutions and the increasing counter-counter-measure (CCM) capabilities of Radio Frequency (RF) missiles. The SYLENA system also fires infrared decoys and torpedo counter- measure ammunition SEALAT.
Over fifty platforms are currently protected by Lacroix’s new munitions, and it has delivered its 10.000th unit of SEACLAD ammunition in 2018. Development of the SEALAT anti-torpedo mortar has been brought to completion and it is presently being manufactured at nominal capacity.
The demonstrated success of the SYLENA range has come in just five years since it was marketed: a combination of deliveries and firm orders account for a total of over thirty systems worldwide. Within the next 2 years, that number is expected to jump to 100, thanks to the growing success of the unique coupling of a fixed launcher / modern countermeasures.