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Modern range for navy weapons



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No. 819.

. . ‘ 60/60.

: Navy Public Relations.

■ V ‘ * IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

MODERN RANGE FOR NAVY WEAPONS.

One of the world's most modern naval gunnery ranges is

nearing completion at West Head, on Western’Port Bay, in Victoria.

The Minister for the Navy, Senator Gorton, said today that

in addition to convential weapons, the range had been designed for

eventual training with guided missiles.

He said final installation was taking place of the latest

fire control system that was to be installed in the new Type 12

anti-submarine frigates. ’

Senator Gorton said this would be the first time in Australian

naval history that a ship's complete gunnery system had been "

(^/available for shore training before the ship had gone to sea. It-

meant that gunnery crews could join the Type 12 frigates already

experienced with the weapons and fire control system, The first

new frigate, H.M.A.S. PARRAMATTA, is due to begin sea trials from

Sydney in November, The second type 12.frigate, H.M.A.S. YARRA,

being built at Williamstown Naval Dockyard in Melbourne, is expected

. to start her trials early next year, .

Senator Gorton said the West Head Range, which was started

. five years ago, now had six different mountings, permitting shore

g r a i n i n g with most types of gun to be found in modern Australian . ■ ■

warships. ■ ’

The shore facilities would result in more concentrated train­

ing for seaman gunnery ratings, and would release warships‘from basic

gunnery training duties. This was a particularly important saving

for a compact navy like Australia's, whose ships had a busy programme

of international commitments.

In addition to seaman gunnery ratings, the West Head Range

would be used as a training ground for the specialists whose task

was to maintain the weapons and their complex electrical control

systems.

Senator Gorton said all weapons at the range were fired out to sea, and the site had been carefully selected to avoid incon­ venience to the public.

Canberra,.. 20th September, 1960.