Britain’s 2009-2019 Torpedo Support Contract
The UK Ministry of Defence has signed a GBP 369.5 million (about $615 million), 10-year contract with BAE Systems Insyte to support and maintain the Royal Navy’s light Sting Ray and heavy Spearfish torpedoes. The availability-based Torpedoes Capability Contract consolidates 11 separate contracts into one, and will see BAE Systems and the MOD’s DE&S Weapons Operating Centre working together as “Team Torpedoes.” It covers all aspects of support and maintenance, as well as Spearfish development and upgrade work. BAE says that they expect this partnering approach to lead to savings of about GBP 65 million, or 20% over the traditional support approach.
The TCC agreement will directly secure around 120 posts at BAES Insyte in Portsmouth, as well as subcontractors who will receive about 33% of the contract’s total value. Sub-contractors and torpedo details follow:
The TTC contract furthers Britain’s partly-complete Defence Industrial Strategy, whose goals include retaining Britain’s torpedo design and support capacity, and the ongoing shift toward fixed-price contracts and set readiness levels rather than standard time-and-materials approaches.
- BAE Systems ATC in Great Baddow, Essex
- BAE Systems in Glascoed, Monmouth
- BAE Systems (Operations) in Rochester, Kent
- AESSEAL in Rotherham, S Yorkshire
- Airborne Systems in Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan
- AmSafe in Bridport, Dorset
- EADS/ Thyssen subsidiary Atlas Elektronik in Newport, Gwent
- Castlet Ltd, in Lincoln
- Claverham Ltd in Bristol
- Eaton Aerospace in Titchfield, Hampshire
- Exchem in Alfreton, Derbyshire
- FPT in Portsmouth, Hampshire
- Honeywell Hymatic in Redditch, Worcestershire
- Horstman Defence Systems Ltd in Bath, Avon
- Icore International in Slough, Berkshire
- MBDA in Stevenage, Hertfordshire
- Plalite Ltd in Sittingbourne, Kent
- Polaron Components Ltd in Watford, Hertfordshire
- Portsmouth Aviation in Portsmouth, Hampshire
- QinetiQ in Fort Halstead, Kent
- Finmeccanica subsidiary Selex S&AS in Edinburgh
- Wallop Defence in Stockbridge, Hampshire
Spearfish is a submarine-launched heavyweight wire-guided torpedo that is noted for its speed; it has reportedly reached 80 knots in short-range tests. It is carried in all British submarines, including SSN Swiftsure, Trafalgar, and Astute (when in service as of 2010) class attack boats, and SSBN Vanguard nuclear missile submarines.
The autonomous Sting Ray is a lightweight anti-submarine torpedo carried aboard Royal Navy ships, Lynx and Merlin helicopters and RAF Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft. It has undergone a mid-life update, and the latest version is the MOD1.