Decoy employment is used primarily to defend against anti-ship missiles which have avoided detection and penetrated to the terminal-defense area that represents an imminent threat to ownship. The MK 36 Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasures (SRBOC) Chaff and Decoy Launching System is an evolutionary development of the RBOC family with enhanced capability. The MK 36 is a deck-mounted, mortar-type countermeasure system that may be used to launch an array of chaff cartridges against a variety of threats. The purpose of the system is to confuse hostile missile guidance and fire control systems by creating false signals. The launching system is controlled from the Combat Information Center and is dependent on information provided by the detection and threat analysis equipment on the ship.
The DLS MK 36 Mod 12 is a morter-tube launched decoy countermeasures system that projects decoys aloft at specific heights and ranges. Each DLS launcher includes six fixed-angle (elevation) tubes: four tubes set at 45 degrees and two tubes set at 60 degrees. Decoy selection and firing is controlled from either the EW console of the bridge launcher control. The DLS launches the following types of decoys: SRBOC - which uses chaff to deceive RF-emitting missiles/radars, NATO Sea Gnat - which is similar to SRBOC but with extended range and a larget payload of chaff, and TORCH - which uses heat to deceive infrarad-seeking missiles.The MK 36 is combat proven, fully supported, highly reliable, and cost effective. The system has been deployed throughout the world and is in service with at least 19 navies. The MK 36 consists of the MK 137 launcher, the MK 158 Mods 1 and 2 master launcher control, the MK 164 Mods 1 and 2 bridge launcher control, the MK 160 Mod 1 power supply, the MK 5 Mod 2 or Mk 6 Mod 0 ready service lockers, and a range of munitions. The Mk 137 launcher has six 130-mm fixed tubes arranged in two parallel rows at angles of 45 and 60 degrees. The firing circuits employ electromagnetic induction to initiate the propelling charges in the cartridges. Near each launcher is a deck locker with up to 20 MK 5 or 35 MK 6 rounds for quick reload. Both the MK 214 and 216 rounds release propellant which scorches tubes and leaves behind a coating which some ships mistakenly believe is teflon coating from the launcher tubes. The MRC 18M-1R requires that launch tube components be cleaned after each shoot, which should eliminate the residue. The use of the MK 214 and the MK 216 impose a heavy maintenance burden for post firing clean up.
The existing Mk 36 Decoy Launching System is being modified to support Nulka launches. After the Nulka equipment is installed, the system is redesignated as a Mk 53 DLS. The DLS MK 53 retains all capabilites of the DLS MK 36 Mod 12.