Mark 32 surface vessel torpedo tube

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Hobart-class air warfare destroyer‘s (AWD) Mk32 Mod 9 torpedo launchers have successfully completed a test firing off Adelaide, Australia, meeting each AWD programme capability standard, defence materiel minister Jason Clare has announced.

ASC Alliance was awarded an $8bn contract by RAN for the construction of three AWDs, in HMAS Hobart, HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Sydney.

Conducted as a part of weapon systems acceptance testing for the second AWD HMAS Brisbane, the demonstration validated Mk32 Mod 9 torpedo launcher assemblies’ capability to fire a MU90 lightweight torpedo.

Mk32 Mod 9 torpedo launchers, comprising three main components launcher, an air charging panel and a torpedo loading tray, will be deployed onto the three Hobart-class AWDs in magazine compartments, port and starboard.

"The launch system will be capable of deploying lightweight torpedoes against enemy submarines," Clare added.

"The launch system will be capable of deploying lightweight torpedoes against enemy submarines."

Originally designed for the US Navy, the Mod 9 is a twin-barrelled variant of the Mk32 launchers currently operational with the Australian Anzac and Adelaide-class FFG frigates.

Following completion of successful factory acceptance testing in June this year, Babcock had delivered the first batch of torpedo launchers to AWD Alliance in support of the first AWD, HMAS Hobart.

Based on the Navantia-designed F100 frigate, the AWDs will be used to conduct law enforcement operations, serve as defence aid to the civil community, collect environmental data, and undertake rescue and diplomatic roles.

The AWD Alliance consists of ASC, the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Raytheon.

RAN is expected to receive its first AWD in December 2014 followed by the other two warships between early 2016 and mid-2017.

Image: An Mk32 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.