Portsmouth engineers' six-year effort to upgrade Royal Navy torpedo almost complete

FINAL tests have been carried out on an upgraded torpedo for the Royal Navy designed by weapons experts in Portsmouth.

Friday, 12th February 2021, 5:16 pm

More than 150 engineers and specialists have spent almost six years putting together the navy’s new Spearfish torpedo.

The sophisticated underwater weapon will come into service imminently and will be introduced to all front-line submarines by 2025.

And ahead of its rollout, Spearfish underwent its final trial, being launched by Trafalgar-class sub HMS Talent on ranges near the Isle of Skye.

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HMS Talent carries out Spearfish torpedo trials off the west coast of Scotland

Dave Quick, head of underwater weapons at defence giant BAE Systems, said: ‘This is a critical step ahead of acceptance and delivery into service of this world class capability.

‘Our team in Portsmouth have achieved incredible things with the upgraded Spearfish heavyweight torpedo, through the close collaboration with the Royal Navy and our range of suppliers and partners from across the UK who have worked on this fantastic programme.’

The trials provided valuable data in the final stages of the upgraded torpedo’s development ahead of its impending entry into service.

The Spearfish upgrade will ensure the submarine service continues to possess a lethal weapon system, capable of dealing with threats of the future.

HMS Talent carries out Spearfish torpedo trials off the west coast of Scotland

Work is now ongoing to study the data from the trial to support decisions made in the next phases of the programme as the torpedo moves towards Initial Operating Capability.

Spearfish has been the Royal Navy’s heavyweight torpedo for nearly 30 years and can break the back of frigates, destroyers and similar-sized warships, as well as take out underwater threats.

It has been the principal weapon of the navy’s submarine flotilla against enemy ships and submarines and has been the weapon of choice since the early 1990s.

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