BAE selects TDW to support UK Royal Navy’s Spearfish torpedo upgrade

6 October 2015 (Last Updated October 6th, 2015 18:30)

BAE Systems has awarded a contract to TDW for the qualification and delivery of the insensitive munition (IM) blast warhead due to be used in the UK Royal Navy's heavyweight Spearfish torpedo.

Spearfish torpedo

BAE Systems has awarded a contract to TDW for the qualification and delivery of the insensitive munition (IM) blast warhead due to be used in the UK Royal Navy's heavyweight Spearfish torpedo.

The new development is part of a five-year programme aimed to develop an upgrade to the Spearfish Mod-0 heavyweight torpedo.

Blast warheads are designed to be used to combat both surface and underwater targets effectively.

TDW managing director Ulrich Störchle said: "The conclusion of demonstration phase one for the Spearfish Upgrade IM Warhead on time, cost and quality along with the proven collaboration between BAE Systems Maritime Services and TDW laid the foundation for this success.

"This order shows that we have mastered the complete range of warhead systems up to and including the heavyweight torpedo."

As part of the initial assessment and development phases, TDW have played a significant role in the design and testing of the new Spearfish warhead, the company stated.

The warhead has already undergone testing, including IM threat tests and underwater trials to demonstrate insensitivity and performance respectively.

The trials to further prepare and qualify the upgraded Spearfish torpedo are scheduled for the next five years.

TDW is expected to complete the final warhead demonstration phase by 2018, while the supply of production warheads is scheduled to start in 2019.

"This order shows that we have mastered the complete range of warhead systems up to and including the heavyweight torpedo."

Recently, BAE Systems completed the first in-water trial of the next-generation Spearfish heavyweight torpedo.

With the upgrade, the next-generation Spearfish will feature enhanced data links between the weapon system and the launching vessel, offering better capability, as well as a reduction in through-life operating costs for the Royal Navy.

BAE secured a £270m contract by the UK MoD in December last year to upgrade the UK Royal Navy's Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.

The initial deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020 and run through to 2024.


Image: The next-generation Spearfish will feature enhanced data links between the weapon system and the launching vessel. Photo: courtesy of MBDA.