Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. unveiled a 4th generation torpedo decoy called Torbuster. The new decoy combines both acoustic countermeasures and hard kill, targeting enemy torpedos fired at a submarine. Rafael introduced the development of a 4th generation decoy last autumn, at the Subcon conference, but officially unveiled the product at the Pacific 2008 exhibition in Sydney, Australia.
Torbuster is designed to protect submarines from attacks by all types of acoustic homing torpedoes. Upon detection of an incoming torpedo, the submarine launches a the decoy from an external launcher. The decoy will propel itself to a safe distance from the submarine and seduce the incoming torpedo by transmitting acoustic signals using reactive acoustic deception. This technique was first implemented with Rafael’s second generation decoy called Scutter, which was optimized for operation in deep sea and littoral water. Unlike earlier passive decoys, Torbuster actively engages the torpedo as it closes in, activating an explosive warhead when the target is at the closest proximity, inflicting sufficient damage to the torpedo to neutralize it.