Naval Weapons

US Navy to remove hard-kill torpedo defence from carriers

04 February 2019

The US Navy (USN) will remove the prototype 'hard-kill' torpedo defence system from nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs), the Pentagon's Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) has revealed.

Designed to detect, classify, localise, and neutralise threat torpedoes, the Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) system was introduced to redress a torpedo defence capability gap on CVNs and high-value combat logistics force vessels. Five engineering development model (EDM) systems were delivered between fiscal year 2013 (FY 2013) and FY 2017, with USS George H W Bush (CVN 77) receiving the first fit.

An initial operational capability was planned for 2019. However, the latest DOT&E annual report has revealed that the USN took the decision in September 2018 to suspend its effort to develop the SSTD system, and will remove hardware from those CVNs currently equipped.

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