Argon ST builds shipboard torpedo-defense decoy

shipboard torpedo defense decoyWASHINGTON – Torpedo-defense experts at Argon ST Inc. in Smithfield, Pa., are building eight shipboard devices for the U.S. Navy that use torpedo-spoofing decoy systems to lure enemy torpedoes away from U.S. and allied surface ships.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $11.7 million order to Argon ST earlier this month to provide eight AN/SLQ-25A/C countermeasure decoy systems. Argon ST is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Co.

The contract modification, which includes spare parts, is to provide improved naval surface ship defense against modern advanced torpedoes in support of the Navy’s Undersea Defensive Warfare Program office.

The AN/SLQ-25A/C is a digitally controlled modular electro-acoustic soft-kill countermeasure decoy system that employs an underwater towed body acoustic projector deployed on a fiber optic tow cable from the sterns of surface warships to defend against wake-homing, acoustic homing, and wire-guided enemy torpedoes.

The AN/SLQ-25 towed decoy emits simulated ship noise like the sounds of propellers and engines in attempts to defeat a torpedo’s passive sonar. The idea is to spoof torpedoes into missing their targets and eventually sink or explode harmlessly away from the ship.

Related: Navy ready for another look at Next-Generation Countermeasure (NGCM) submarine torpedo defense

The AN/SLQ-25 is deployed on U.S. and allied surface warships, and consists of the TB-14A towed decoy device and a shipboard signal generator. The decoy emits signals to draw incoming torpedoes away from their intended targets.

The AN/SLQ-25A uses a fiber optic tow cable and winch, and includes extensive use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. The AN/SLQ-25C is an upgrade to the AN/SLQ-25A, and includes new countermeasure modes and a longer tow cable.

Since 2006, Argon has served as the lead contractor for the torpedo countermeasures transmitting set AN/SLQ-25 — commonly referred to as Nixie. It is a passive decoy system that provides deceptive countermeasures against acoustic homing torpedoes.

On this order Argon ST will do the work in Smithfield, Pa., and should be finished by September 2019. For more information contact Argon ST online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

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