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Thales Australia to maintain MU90 LightWeight torpedo of Australian Navy.

| 2021

According to information released on October 6, 2021, Thales Australia welcomes the announcement by Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price to award a $20m contract to maintain the Royal Australian Navy’s MU90 Light Weight torpedo, demonstrating Thales’s established capability in Australia to sustain guided munitions and weapons systems.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 An MU-90 TVE Torpedo is fired from HMAS Warramunga during a weapons training exercise in the Western Australian Exercise Area. (Picture source Australia MoD)

The MU90 has been successfully supported by Thales Australia’s facility in Rockingham, Western Australia since it entered into service with the Navy in 2013.

The renewal of the in-service support contract for 3 years will be delivered utilizing 100% Australian Industry Capability (AIC), and will directly support jobs with Thales in Western Australia, and more in Thales’s local WA supply chain.

Over the past decade, Thales has built a sovereign industrial capability in WA to ensure Australia has the capability to fully support the MU90 torpedo.

The MU90 is an advanced lightweight anti-submarine torpedo of the 3rd generation[3] developed by France and Italy for navies of France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Australia and Poland. Designed and built with the most advanced technology, the weapon is a fire-and-forget type, conceived to cope with any task any environment capability requirements and meet the ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) operational needs of the 21st century.

The MU90 has been designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine, acoustically coated, deep and fast-evasive, deploying active or passive anti-torpedo effectors. The torpedo can be deployed by any type of platform such as surface vessels, fixed or rotary-wing aircraft, or missiles. Pre-arrangements to cope with Submarine-Launched Anti-Air Missiles (SLAAM) have been already incorporated into the system.

The MU90 torpedo is 323.7mm ‘NATO Standard’ calibre, weight 304 kg and has a length of 2850mm long. The torpedo is powered through an Aluminium-Silver Oxide sea water battery using dissolved sodium-dioxide powder as electrolyte and incorporating an advanced closed-loop electrolyte re-circulation system, the torpedo is propelled by an electronically controlled high-RPM brush-less motor driving a skewed multi-blades pumpjet propulsor allowing a continuously variable torpedo speed automatically selected by the tactics of the weapon according to the scenario, the environment and the operational phase.

The Mu-90 torpedo operates without any speed degradation and any limitation of salinity and temperature in water depths in excess of 1,000 m and as shallow as 25 m, retaining navigation capability up to 3 m. The advanced acoustic seeker features multi pre-formed transmission and reception beams.

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