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BAE Comments £370M UK Torpedo Contract

The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force will save millions of pounds over the next decade on the maintenance and development of their Spearfish and Sting Ray torpedoes thanks to a £369.5 million contract signed with BAE Systems.

The Torpedoes Capability Contract (TCC) will cover in-service support for the torpedoes through to 2019 as well as providing the foundation for a proposed upgrade programme for the Spearfish torpedo.

The contract will see BAE Systems and the MOD’s DE&S Weapons Operating Centre working as “Team Torpedoes”, in a partnering approach that will result in cost savings of around 20 per cent over the traditional support approach and result in efficiencies of at least £65 million. The TCC consolidates what were 11 separate contracts into one, leading to significant reductions in transactional activities,

Torpedoes Project Team Leader, Captain Jim Johnson said. “This 10 year Contract for Availability is a radical improvement over legacy arrangements and has significantly reduced costs. It delivers more coherent and affordable support for torpedoes and also provides the foundation for the development and upgrade of the Spearfish weapon. The adoption of partnering principles and close collaborative working with BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies (Insyte) was pivotal to delivering the optimum support solution”.

The contract will support about 120 skilled jobs at BAE Systems in Portsmouth, while about a third of the total contract value, will go to sub-contractors, sustaining further industry jobs around the UK.

Paul Laity, BAE Systems Insyte Naval Programmes Director, said: ”The TCC provides a coherent approach to torpedo support as well as providing a basis for future development programmes. It maintains a sovereign UK capability for the design, development and through-life management and support of the torpedo inventory, thus contributing to the aims of the Defence Industrial Strategy.”

BAE Systems has been the Prime Contractor and Design Authority for design and development and in-service support for the UK torpedo inventory for almost 40 years.
Spearfish is the UK’s submarine-launched heavyweight torpedo and is deployed in the Swiftsure and Trafalgar hunter/killer submarines and the Vanguard nuclear deterrent submarines. It will be deployed in the new Astute Class submarine from 2010. Spearfish is optimised for anti-submarine warfare, while retaining credible anti-surface warfare capability. It is powered by a high-performance thermal engine, has an analogue homing system and communicates with the launch submarine via a wire-guidance link.

Sting Ray is the UK’s lightweight anti-submarine torpedo and is carried aboard RN ships, Lynx and Merlin helicopters and RAF Nimrod Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The weapon is fully autonomous once launched. Sting Ray has recently undergone an update, improving its capability against the modern submarine threat, particularly in littoral waters, and against advanced counter measures

BAE Systems is the premier global defence, security and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 105,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded US $34.4 billion (£18.5 billion) in 2008. (ends)

Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to Save Millions Under 10 Year Torpedo Contract