Australia — Response to Criticisms of MU90 Torpedo Project

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. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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