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UK announces investment for maintenance of Royal Navy torpedoes

28 Jan 2021 (Last Updated January 29th, 2021 16:09)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced an investment of £230m ($315m) towards the maintenance uplift of Spearfish and Sting Ray torpedoes carried by the Royal Navy.

UK announces investment for maintenance of Royal Navy torpedoes
Spearfish was developed over six years by engineers and experts from BAE Systems in Portsmouth. Credit: Royal Navy.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced an investment of £230m ($315m) towards the maintenance uplift of Spearfish and Sting Ray torpedoes carried by the Royal Navy.

Carried by the Royal Navy’s Astute, Vanguard and Trafalgar Class submarines, Spearfish torpedoes use sonar to home in on targets.

These torpedoes can target both underwater and surface threats.

They are capable of destroying frigates, destroyers and similar-sized ships and eliminate underwater threats.

Sting Ray torpedoes are deployed on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platforms, including frigates, Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

They have a close attack capability and can automatically home in on a target after launch, just as the Spearfish torpedo.

UK Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “Our Royal Navy submarines require sophisticated defensive and offensive underwater weapons to deter a wide range of surface and subsurface threats.

“This £230m ($315m) investment is crucial in safeguarding the availability and effectiveness of these highly capable weapon systems whilst supporting skilled British jobs.”

According to the MoD, the torpedoes repair and maintenance (TRAM) contract will run for a period of six years.

It would support more than 100 jobs at the BAE Systems’ Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth.

The TRAM contract replaces the torpedo capability contract (TCC) with BAE Systems that has been executed for a period of ten years.

BAE Systems Maritime Services Products and Training Services director Brooke Hoskins said: “BAE Systems’ teams have developed, manufactured, and supported the UK’s torpedoes since the 1970s.

“Torpedoes have a vital role in layered anti-submarine warfare. We are incredibly proud to continue delivering these critical support services to the Royal Navy through a combination of our agile and innovative forward thinking and our heritage and expertise.”

In September last year, Royal Navy completed extensive trials of the upgraded Spearfish torpedo in Scotland.