The Royal Navy’s Spearfish and Sting Ray torpedoes are set to receive a major maintenance upgrade.
The UK Ministry of Defence has announced it will invest £230 million ($412 million) to upgrade the capabilities of the Royal Navy’s Spearfish and Stingray torpedoes.
The Torpedoes Repair and Maintenance (TRAM) contract, which is expected to run for six years, supersedes the Torpedo Capability Contract (TCC) with BAE Systems, which has a 10-year lifespan.
The contract is expected to secure the Royal Navy’s inventory of Spearfish Heavyweight and Sting Ray Lightweight torpedoes, while also allowing for a full suite of maintenance activity, which includes technical repair, provision of spares, stock management, logistics and trials support.
As part of the contract, BAE Systems will also offer safety, environment and engineering advice to support the continued secure use of the weapons.
“Our Royal Navy submarines require sophisticated defensive and offensive underwater weapons to deter a wide range of surface and subsurface threats,” Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said.
“This £230 million investment is crucial in safeguarding the availability and effectiveness of these highly capable weapon systems whilst supporting skilled British jobs.”
Dr Brooke Hoskins, director of products and training services at BAE Systems Maritime Services, added, “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.”
Spearfish torpedoes – which leverage sonar technology to home in on targets — are carried by the Royal Navy’s Astute Class and Trafalgar Class hunter-killer submarines, and the nuclear deterrent Vanguard Class, to neutralise underwater and surface threats.
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Sting Ray torpedoes — which provide a close attack capability — are deployed on anti-submarine warfare mission, which involve frigates, and Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.