21 March 2017
AUSTRALIA – The Royal Australian Navy has tested its primary anti-submarine warfare weapon during Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER off the coast of Western Australia recently.
HMAS Melbourne, with the support of Collins class submarine HMAS Dechaineux, conducted three exercise firings of its MU90 torpedo.
Staff Officer Force Anti-Submarine Warfare Lieutenant Commander Chris Straughan from the Australian Maritime Warfare Centre embarked in Melbourne for the trial.
Lieutenant Commander Straughan said the torpedo was designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine.
“The MU90 torpedo provides the Royal Australian Navy with one of the most capable lightweight torpedoes in the world. It is designed to detect and attack deep, quiet running submarines,” he said.
“The Australian Maritime Warfare Centre conducted the trials to test the performance of the torpedo against a live submarine.
“The results will be used to formulate new tactics, techniques and procedures.
“It is part of an ongoing weapons performance program that has been developed by the center as part of the Fleet Warfighting Strategy.”
The Navy continues to develop the MU90 capability in the fleet through regular tactical development activities against live submarines and acoustic targets.
That includes the world-first firing of a live MU90 torpedo by HMAS Stuart in 2013.
During the test, Stuart launched the torpedo at a specially designed submerged static target, positioned off the New South Wales south coast.
The Australian Maritime Warfare Centre is the Royal Australian Navy’s center of excellence for maritime warfare development. The center’s role is to optimize the war fighting effectiveness of the Australian fleet.