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Thursday, 11 October 1984
Page: 2216

(Question No. 1623)

Mr Spender asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 21 August 1984:

() How many contracts have been let for the supply of Mark 48 torpedoes to the Defence Force.

(2) On what dates (a) were the contracts let and (b) were announcements made of each contract.

(3) Has his attention been drawn to reports from a USA firm, DMS Incorporated, which state that Australia received 44 Mark 48s after an order in 1979 and that there was a Letter of Offer for 27 more in June 1980; if so, are these reports correct.

(4) If these reports are not correct, where is the inaccuracy and what is the correct position.

(5) How many Mark 48 torpedoes are normally carried in a RAN Oberon Class submarine.

Mr Scholes —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Three contracts have been placed with the United States Department of Defense for the procurement of Mark 48 torpedoes for the Royal Australian Navy.


(a) The contracts were let on 17 October 1977, 14 November 1978 and 2 June 1980 respectively,

(b) No specific announcements were made at the time contracts were let though there were more general announcements on 26 October 1977, 24 October 1978 and 25 March 1980 at the various stages of project approval.

(3) and (4) I am unaware of any reports originating from DMS Incorporated but the numbers of weapons referred to and the dates specified generally accord with terms negotiated for the purchase of the Mark 48 torpedoes.

(5) It is standard practice not to reveal the numbers of weapons carried by Australian warships.