Babcock has successfully completed factory acceptance testing of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Hobart-class air warfare destroyer’s (AWD) Mk32 Mod 9 torpedo launchers at its Techport facility in South Australia.
Tested using a land-based custom designed test rig and measuring equipment with safe work procedures, the test validated Mk32 Mod 9 torpedo launcher assemblies’ capability to fire a MU90 lightweight torpedo, while meeting the AWD programme capability standards.
Babcock director Pat Donovan said: "Proving the equipment is a key milestone in the programme and a further illustration of the strong progress we’ve made on the launcher contract."
Two Mk32 Mod 9 torpedo launcher assemblies will be installed on each Hobart-class AWD in magazine compartments, port and starboard.
The system features a launcher, an air charging panel, which is currently undergoing testing by Babcock, and a torpedo loading tray.
Originally designed for the US Navy, the Mod 9 is a twin-barrelled variant of the Mk32 launchers currently operational with Australian Anzac and Adelaide-class FFG frigates.
In support of the AWD Alliance, Babcock was awarded a contract by Raytheon in December 2008 to provide a complete weapons handling and launch system from stowage to launcher for the Hobart-class AWDs.
Also known as SEA 4000, the AWD programme seeks to deliver three advanced multirole warships to support law enforcement operations, defence aid to the civil community, the collection of environmental data, rescue operations and diplomatic roles, while replacing RAN’s FFG frigates.
The Australian Navy is scheduled to receive its first AWD in December 2014 following the other two warships in early 2016 and mid-2017.
Image: A Mk 32 surface vessel torpedo tube aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78). Photo: US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 3rd class Joshua Nistas/Released.