An article in some Fairfax media papers today (Lost for words, a Navy all at sea, 26 August 2011) and more widely reported in the electronic media contains information that is wrong in fact and misleading.
The article refers to the need to translate technical documents and instructions for the MU90 Light Weight Torpedo into English.
This is not correct.
As a condition of contract all key project documentation including technical instructions from the supplier has been delivered in English.
The MU90 torpedo is a complex anti-submarine warfare weapon and is a joint French and Italian development.
Defence is taking advantage of additional test data from these countries as a way to reduce costs and minimise the number of formal ship trials for the Australian MU90 program to finalise the acceptance into ADF service process.
Torpedo trials are very expensive and each test firing is a significant exercise in its own right. Being able to examine and use the results of other countries’ trials saves the Australian taxpayer a lot of money.
To date the French and Italian Navy testing programs have involved the firing of over 200 MU90 torpedoes. It is the reports and data from these tests — conducted by the French and Italian Navy for their own purposes and provided to Australia — that is in French and Italian and needs to be translated into English.
As a Project of Concern the MU90 Light Weight Torpedo replacement project receives Government, Defence and equipment supplier oversight.
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,