BAE wins £270m contract to upgrade torpedoes

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded BAE Systems a £270m contract to upgrade the Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo for the Royal Navy’s submarines.

Existing torpedoes are due to be upgraded by BAE Systems at its Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth to the new design with initial deliveries in 2020 continuing until 2024.

The contract secures 100 skilled engineering jobs for BAE Systems’ Maritime Services business at Broad Oak, and sustains hundreds more across the supply chain. Forty new skilled engineering personnel will be recruited to work on the programme within BAE Systems.

The upgrade, known as Spearfish Mod 1, extends the life of the torpedo, improves safety through the introduction of an Insensitive Munitions warhead and by utilising a single fuel system and provides more capable data links between the weapon system and the launching vessel. This results in capability improvements as well as significant reduction in through-life operating costs.

The anti-submarine and anti-surface Spearfish torpedoes are currently deployed on the BAE Systems designed and built Trafalgar and Vanguard submarines, as well as the Astute Class submarines.