Norway Orders Sting Ray Torpedoes
BAE recently announced that the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation has selected BAE Systems Sting Ray MOD 1 lightweight torpedo for its Norwegian Antisubmarine Torpedo (NAT) program following an international competition, and issued a GBP 99 million (EUR 136.1M / $145M) contract. These pump-jet propelled, autonomous active-homing 324mm torpedoes will arm Norway’s new Fridtjof Nansen Class AEGIS frigates, NH90 NFH Anti Submarine Warfare helicopters, and its P-3C Orion maritime patrol planes.
“Lightweight” torpedoes are light only in comparison to their huge 533mm ship-killing counterparts, like the submarine-launched American Mk48 torpedo and BAE’s own Spearfish. Submarines are easier to sink than enemy destroyers, however, which allows warhead and torpedo size to be reduced for carriage and launch from smaller surface ship torpedo tubes, maritime patrol aircraft, and anti-submarine helicopters.
This is the first export success for the upgraded Stingray MOD 1…
The new design improves the torpedo’s capabilities in cluttered shallow waters, and has been in production for the UK since 2003. It faces a difficult international battle against Raytheon’s Mk46/Mk54 and the MU90 Eurotorp, and BAE Systems’ Sting Ray campaign manager Bob Moran, acknowledged the support provided by key UK customer partners. The UK’s DE&S Torpedoes integrated project team, and the UK Defence Storage and Distribution Agency based at Gosport, Hampshire, were singled out for “establishing a logistic support and maintenance commitment to Norway which was a key factor in our success.”
The Norway order will extend Sting Ray MOD 1 production until the end of 2012.