BAE wins £270 mil­lion to up­date Royal Navy tor­pe­does


The deal with BAE Sys­tems en­sures the sus­tain­ment of the UK’s tor­pedo man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity in Portsmouth for another 10 years. The Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) has awarded a £270 mil­lion con­tract to up­grade the Royal Navy’s Spearfish heavy­weight tor­pe­does.

The Spearfish pro­gramme sup­ports 60 jobs in Portsmouth where the tor­pedo is de­signed and man­u­fac­tured with an ad­di­tional 40 new skilled en­gi­neer­ing va­can­cies be­ing re­cruited for to work on the pro­gramme by BAE Sys­tems.

The company also es­ti­mates that hun­dreds of jobs will be sus­tained in the company’s sup­ply chain.

This year the MOD has al­ready awarded BAE Sys­tems a £600 mil­lion con­tract to run Portsmouth Naval Base and a £70 mil­lion Type 45 de­stroyer support con­tract that com­bined sus­tains more than 2,000 jobs in the Portsmouth re­gion, in­clud­ing skilled en­gi­neer­ing roles.

De­fence Sec­re­tary, Michael Fal­lon, said: “This con­tract award is good news for the Royal Navy, the UK and the city of Portsmouth where around 100 en­gi­neer­ing jobs will be cre­ated or sus­tained.

“Portsmouth con­tin­ues to play a sig­nif­i­cant part in de­fence as il­lus­trated by this con­tract award and has a bright fu­ture ahead of it thanks to re­cent in­vest­ment such as the £600 mil­li­ion con­tract to run the naval base, sus­tain­ing thou­sands of jobs, and the up­com­ing £100 mil­lion of in­fra­struc­ture work to pre­pare the city for the ar­rival of the Queen El­iz­a­beth class car­ri­ers.”

The Spearfish Up­grade in­cludes a new war­head, a change to the fuel sys­tem to im­prove safety, full digi­ti­sa­tion of the weapon and a new fi­bre op­tic guid­ance link to im­prove per­for­mance.

They are car­ried by the Royal Navy’s As­tute, Van­guard and Trafal­gar class sub­marines and can tar­get both un­der­wa­ter and sur­face threats.

Once the tor­pedo has been fired Spearfish homes in on its tar­get us­ing sonar and will be con­trolled by the sub­ma­rine after launch via the new fi­bre op­tic link.

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