British Royal Navy tests upgraded Spearfish torpedo

16 September 2020 (Last Updated September 16th, 2020 13:09)

The British Royal Navy has completed extensive trials of the upgraded Spearfish torpedo in Scotland.

British Royal Navy tests upgraded Spearfish torpedo
The torpedo was developed over six years by engineers and experts from BAE Systems in Portsmouth. Credit: Royal Navy.

The British Royal Navy has completed extensive trials of the upgraded Spearfish torpedo in Scotland.  

This marks an important milestone before it enters service with the navy.  

During trials, the new advanced torpedo was ‘fired’ continually at another frigate, HMS Sutherland. The repeated firings were conducted to help scientists, engineers and sailors assess its performance.

Weapon engineer officer lieutenant commander David Tinsley added: “This is not the first time Sutherland has contributed to Spearfish trials and we’re glad to be supporting a small part of a larger defence programme, which will deliver a world-class weapon into service. 

“A range of military and industrial partners have come together to deliver an efficient trial, which in due course will deliver another exciting capability for the Royal Navy.” 

The improved weapon was tested over four days near the Kyle of Lochalsh. The testing included software and hardware enhancements.  

The warhead is said to be around six times more powerful compared to the smaller Sting Ray torpedo, which is fired by ships such as HMS Sutherland.  

It is capable of destroying frigates, destroyers and similar-sized ships and eliminate underwater threats.

The Royal Navy has invested £270m for the upgrade of Spearfish.

The torpedo is fitted with a new warhead, new fuel system, an advanced electronic ‘brain’ and a new fibre-optic guidance link with the parent submarine. 

Underwater warfare specialist tracking Spearfish Able Seaman Matthew Brown said: “During the trial this week we have put our elite training into action using a variety of underwater sensors to locate and track the weapon. 

“Having one of the most advanced and capable torpedoes in the world fired at you certainly puts the pressure on.”