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UK to equip Poseidon MRA1 with Sting Ray torpedo

The Sting Ray torpedo is to be integrated aboard the RAF's fleet of Poseidon MRA1 aircraft. (Crown Copyright)

The United Kingdom is to arm its fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) with the domestically developed Sting Ray torpedo.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the decision on 30 November, saying the British-built Sting Ray will be used alongside the US-built Mk 54 torpedo that was delivered as part of the US government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) package.

β€œThe programme to integrate Sting Ray Mod 1 onto Poseidon is now under way,” the MoD said. According to the ministry, the decision capitalises on investment already made in the torpedo.

β€œIn-service with the Royal Navy, Sting Ray Mod 1 is capable of integration into surface and air platform mission systems. Sting Ray Mod 1 is an air-launched anti-submarine warfare lightweight torpedo launched from frigates, helicopters, and maritime patrol aircraft against submarine targets of all types,” the MoD said, noting that its acoustic homing system enables it to detect, classify, and attack targets autonomously.

β€œSting Ray Mod 1 was designed to defeat the dual threats of fast, deep diving double-hulled submarines operating in the oceanic environment and the quiet, conventional submarine in coastal waters. The enhanced performance of Sting Ray Mod 1 is underpinned by the development of new acoustic and tactical software, drawing on knowledge gained from extensive in-water trials with the Mod 0 weapon,” the MoD said, adding that it has low through life costs and requires no intrusive maintenance throughout its service life.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) operates a fleet of nine Poseidon MRA1 aircraft, located at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. The MoD did not say when Sting Ray integration would be completed.

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