HMAS Darwin Exercises Complex Ship, Air Launched Torpedo Delivery

HMAS Darwin Exercises Complex Ship, Air Launched Torpedo Delivery

HMAS Darwin has successfully exercised complex ship and air launched torpedo delivery during the multinational maritime exercise RIMPAC 2012.

Firing one MK46 torpedo from Darwin and two Mk46 torpedos from embarked S-70B-2 Seahawk “Valkyrie”, Darwin demonstrated a combined ability to detect and counter a simulated submarine contact.

The seven-metre, 2700 pound MK-30 Mod 1 target, is a fully programmable underwater vehicle which simulates characteristics of a modern submarine.

Two serials also involved a Canadian CH-124 Sea King from Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Algonquin, as well as air support from the United States and Japan.

Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator Nicholas Miller who launched Darwin’s torpedo, said it was a career highlight.

“I was on HMAS Newcastle during RIMPAC 2010 when they successfully launched a torpedo and thought that it would be the only time I would be involved,” LS Miller said.

“Returning again and being actually able to fire the torpedo, for me was a privilege. I was both excited and relieved that it was a success – all the training and hard work for the team involved in the process paid off.”

Tactical Coordinator for Valkyrie Sub Lieutenant Tim Craig, also conducted a career first when he released the Mk46 torpedo from the helicopter.

“Conducting a simulated ASW (anti-submarine warfare) battle was a great experience to practise our core business,” Sub Lieutenant Craig said.

“Because we are an ASW squadron, RIMPAC provided us with a chance to practise our proficiencies in weapon delivery, in a layered attack with contribution from multiple partners. It was an awesome experience.”

Commanding Officer of HMAS Darwin, Commander Brian Schlegel, who also commanded and coordinated the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) serial for two ships and five aircraft, said it highlighted the professionalism and capability of Darwin’s personnel to work effectively with our partners.

“This was a significant achievement for the crew of HMAS Darwin, we achieved our objective of three torpedo engagements with successful results,” Commander Schlegel said.

“The serials highlighted great teamwork – our people ensured the safe undertaking of weapons delivery, effective communication, coordination of procedures for both the helicopter and the ship launches, all while working with our coalition partners Canada, Japan and the United States.”

Naval Today Staff, August 3, 2012; Image: Australian Navy