Feature Story

From mythology to technology

Nixie's winch

Boeing

Nixie's winch must prove it can handle a 3,500 pound weight test over an extended period of time.

The mythological siren-like creature known as Nixie was said to have an enticing song.  Towed behind ships on a fiber optic cable, the modern-day Nixie, AN/SLQ-25, essentially sings to lure torpedoes away from U.S. and international naval ships.

“The optimum scenario would be that the torpedo is confused by the noise from the countermeasure and it can never find the ship,” said Chris Koresko, system engineer.

Boeing subsidiary Argon ST has been providing navies around the world with this surface ship torpedo defense system for decades. This summer, Boeing subsidiary Argon ST brought production of the voice of the system, the singing towed countermeasure, in-house for the first time. This high-end acoustics work is done in and around Lemont Furnace, Pa., where a special acoustics testing pool already exists. The new towed body production line will also generate an entirely new line of work.  The company will be able to do repairs and updates to existing towed bodies.  Building the entire system in-house also allows for design improvements. Watch the video to find out how those improvements could potentially evolve the Nixie system beyond torpedo defense.