Crews from Navy’s NUSQN 725 have successfully fired Mk 54 Lightweight Torpedos from the squadron’s MH-60R Seahawk during recent trials at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Centre (AUTEC), on Andros Island, Bahamas.
A total of three anti-submarine Mk 54s were fired at targets provided by the US Navy staff at the AUTEC range, with the Romeo’s aircrew requiring utilising all of the helicopter’s available sensors to localise, track, and correctly classify these targets prior to being given approval for the weapon release.
“This is a significant event for the Royal Australian Navy and Fleet Air Arm. As the aircraft captain it was a privilege to be involved in the first launch,” Lieutenant Steve McConville told Navy News.
Working alongside their US Navy counterparts, Navy maintenance crews were also involved in the firings and gained significant experience of weapon loading during the evolutions.
“The weapons events were a significant achievement for the squadron maintenance teams,” said maintenance watch supervisor Chief Petty Officer Roderick Stuart. “The benefits gained from the deployment to AUTEC will definitely lay solid foundations to continue these events on return to Australia.”
The Mk 54 torpedo, being introduced into the ADF weapons suite for Navy’s MH-60R and the Air Force’s P-8A Poseidons, is said to provide a significant capability improvement over the Mk 46 currently in use with the S-70B Seahawk and AP-3C Orions.