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Mulwala Plant Delivers World-Class Killer Penguins

Department of Defence


Media Release

PACC 249/00 Friday 8 September 2000

MULWALA PLANT DELIVERS WORLD-CLASS DEFENCE CAPABILITY

The Penguin anti-ship missile warhead being produced at the ADI Limited Mulwala plant is a world-class, leading edge technology that will enhance Australia's future defence capability, the Commander Australian Navy Aviation Group, Commodore Keith Eames, said today.

The Penguin anti-ship missile warhead is being produced by ADI under contract from Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, Norway.

"Australia now has at the Mulwala facility its first insensitive munitions manufacturing capability and the opportunity to generate export sales to countries already using the Penguin anti-ship missile warhead," Commodore Eames said.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the commencement of production of the Penguin

anti-ship missile warhead at the ADI Limited Mulwala plant, Commodore Eames said the success of the project to date, which had been delivered on time and on budget, was a tribute to the leading edge technology that could be developed when Defence and industry worked closely together as partners.

"This occasion marks the culmination of a great deal of hard and innovative work by a highly professional team determined to bring to the Australian Defence Force a new and enduring capability. "These missiles have been successfully employed by a number of countries throughout the world for the last 20 years. Australia is acquiring the latest version of the missile which utilises programmable waypoints, height hold modes and a good standoff range," he said.

According to Commodore Eames, one of the major advantages of the Penguin anti-ship missile warhead is its international rating as an insensitive munition. Insensitive munitions decrease risk to staff, the ship carrying the weapon and the aircraft launching the weapon.

"The Royal Australian Navy places a great deal of importance on the introduction of insensitive munitions. Insensitive munitions increase the safety levels in dealing with weapons, while still maintaining the effectiveness of the weapon.

"Defence and ADI Limited have conducted extensive tests on the warhead in a range of conditions and it has proven to be very stable. The warhead has been tested in a number of different environments for reaction to vibration, hot and cold temperatures, slow cook-off, even being shot at. Its stability is an important attribute for the Australian Defence Force and the Royal Australian Navy," he said.

ADI Managing Director, Mr Jean-Georges Malcor, said the Mulwala facility was now supplying the Australian Defence Force with its requirements for a diverse range of explosives and propellants.

"With Australia's only insensitive munitions capability, Mulwala has added to its strategic importance to the country's defence," he said.

"ADI is the sole worldwide source of warhead filling for the Penguin missile and with Kongsberg we are supplying Mulwala warheads to the NATO and other forces using the missile. We expect to be able to shortly announce our first export order.

"We are on schedule and within budget with the Penguin project as we are with our two major projects for the Royal Australian Navy, the construction of the Huon Class Minehunters and the upgrade of Australia's six guided missile frigates (FFGs).

"As with the Minehunters, this project has seen the successful transfer of technology to Australia. We have also completed the Benalla munitions facility on time and on budget and it is now providing Defence with most of its high demand munitions.

"This ADI Limited Mulwala production plant not only brings high technology jobs to the Albury-Wodonga region today, but an export industry and employment opportunities through technology transfer for the future," he said.

Mr Malcor added that a feature of the Penguin project had been the very strong partnerships that had been established between ADI, Defence and Kongsberg.

Kongsberg's support of Australian industry was recognised at the ceremony in the signing of a Defence Industry Investment Recognition Scheme (DIIREC) deed. The deed recognises the efforts of overseas companies that invest in local industry and transfer technology to develop and sustain Australian defence capability. Kongsberg is the first Norwegian company to sign a DIIREC deed with Defence.

Australia will be launching the Penguin anti-ship missiles from Super Seasprite helicopters which will operate from ANZAC frigates. The helicopter and missile together will become the primary offensive weapon for the ANZAC ships.

ENDS

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