BAE Systems gets £230 million contract to upgrade Royal Navy torpedoes

BAE Systems has received a £230 million (about $315 million) contract from the Royal Navy to upgrade Spearfish and Sting Ray torpedoes.

Illustration. Image by Royal Navy

Spearfish torpedoes – which use sonar 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.

On the other hand, Sting Ray torpedoes are deployed on anti-submarine warfare mission, including frigates, Merlin and Wildcat helicopters. They provide a close attack capability which also automatically targets enemy threats.

The Torpedoes Repair and Maintenance (TRAM) contract will run for six years. TRAM supersedes the Torpedo Capability Contract (TCC) with BAE Systems which ran for 10 years.

“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.”

As explained, the contract will help guarantee the Royal Navy’s inventory of Spearfish Heavyweight and Sting Ray Lightweight torpedoes.

A full suite of maintenance activity is also included. This support ranges from technical repair, provision of spares, stock management, logistics and trials support. The contract also offers safety, environment and engineering advice to support the continued secure use of the weapons.

“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,” Brooke Hoskins, Director of Products and Training Services for BAE Systems Maritime Services, commented.