Explosive Action On Te Kaha
Onboard HMNZS TE KAHA it’s just another day in the office as POWT Greg Bishell and LWT Darren Lyall load a torpedo, and observe it successfully fire during a fortnight of operational warfare exercises conducted with the Royal Australian Navy off the coast of Western Australia.
From 7-25 November HMNZ Ships TE KAHA and ENDEAVOUR are participating in two combined exercises. The Royal Australian Navy has five ships and two submarines involved, and aircraft from both nations provide support.
TE KAHA launched two torpedoes during the first exercise, one from onboard the ship and the other from the Seasprite helicopter embarked for her deployment.
“We are constantly training for firings like this’ said POWT Bishell (Christchurch), a weapons technician onboard whose job onboard involves preparing and monitoring the weapons systems. “It is satisfying to have a successful firing from the ship and we now look forward to getting feedback from the torpedo data.”
Exercise torpedoes were used during the training firing. The warhead is replaced with telemetry electronics rather than explosives, when the torpedoes run out of fuel, they surface and are collected in order to analyse the data.
The torpedo tubes are mounted on both sides of the ship. The torpedoes are blasted from them with a sudden release of compressed air. The air-launched torpedo is identical to the surface launched one, but has a parachute added to slow the decent once dropped from the aircraft.
The New Zealand ships are participating in Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise 2005 from 7-18 November 2005, which aims to test the Anti-Submarine Warfare skills of the units participating in the two-week exercise.
The second exercise will be Principle Warfare Officers' Sea Assessment Week from 21-25 November 2005, which aims to complete the training and provide an assessment for officers on the Royal Australian Navy's Principal Warfare Officers' Course. Ten Principal Warfare Officer students will complete their final stage of training in this exercise period.