The Royal Australian Navy has successfully conducted the world’s first firing of a “war shot” MU90 Lightweight Torpedo, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO CSC RAN announced today.
ANZAC Class Frigate HMAS Stuart fired the explosive warhead against a specially designed target in the East Australian Exercise Area. The successful firing was the final milestone before the torpedo is accepted for operational service across the fleet.
“The MU90 Lightweight Torpedo has already completed an extensive test program using exercise (non-explosive) variants. This firing is the final Test and Evaluation event for the MU90 and demonstrates the full capability of the torpedo,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
The torpedo was assembled and prepared at the Torpedo Maintenance Facility at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia and Navy personnel onboard the firing ship handled, loaded and fired the MU90 torpedo.
The target for the firing was specially constructed in Victoria by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and it was successfully attacked by the torpedo. The target complied with all appropriate environmental requirements.
“The MU90 Lightweight Torpedo provides a significant enhancement to the Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities of all the RAN’s surface combatant ships,” Vice Admiral Griggs said. “The weapon provides the RAN with one of the most capable lightweight submarine torpedoes in the world.”
The MU90 Lightweight ASW Torpedo is three metres long, weighs 300 kilograms, has a range of greater than 10 kilometres and is designed to detect and attack deep quiet-running submarines.
The firing success was also acknowledged by Mr Warren King, Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).
“Delivery of this important defence capability is due to the combined and concerted efforts of DMO, Navy, and defence industry to remediate the MU90 Lightweight Torpedo Replacement which was removed from the Projects of Concern list in November 2012,” Mr King said.
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This contract, worth about EUR 20m and signed with the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, covers in-service support (ISS) of French Navy MU90 torpedoes for four years. In addition to the maintenance of the torpedoes, this contract covers the maintenance of the associated test benches and tools, along with the supply of services relating to exercise firings of the MU90 torpedo
The MU90 lightweight torpedo has achieved Operational Release Status after a recent final test firing has officially entered into service with the Royal Australian Navy. The MU90 is an advanced lightweight anti-submarine torpedo that delivers superior performance and accuracy in shallow waters, even in congested areas
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