This choice is complemented by the continued use of the United States Navy Mk54 weapon on the RAF’s Poseidon fleet.
The integration programme of Sting Ray Mod 1 onto the Poseidon fleet is now underway, marking a step towards providing the UK with torpedo capability. This decision enhances the flexibility of the Poseidon fleet.
The RAF’s P-8 Poseidon, known for its multi-role capabilities in maritime patrol, is equipped with sensors and weapons systems designed for anti-submarine and surface warfare. Adding Sting Ray Mod 1 to its weaponry strengthens its operational capabilities, making it an asset for surveillance and search and rescue missions.
Already in service with the Royal Navy, Sting Ray Mod 1 is an air-launched anti-submarine warfare lightweight torpedo. Capable of integration into various surface and air platforms, it comes equipped with an acoustic homing system and an accurate navigation system.
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The torpedo’s autonomous capabilities enable it to detect, classify, and attack targets, while its low through-life costs and minimal maintenance requirements contribute to its efficiency.
Group captain Richard Osselton, senior responsible officer for the Poseidon futures programme, emphasised the importance of utilising both Sting Ray and Mk54 torpedoes. “The use of Sting Ray and Mk54 torpedoes gives the UK Poseidon fleet flexibility and interoperability with our allies. I’m delighted to see integration of Sting Ray Mod 1 has commenced at RAF Lossiemouth.”
The growing activities of adversary navies and other underwater threats in UK territories have led to the demand for the upgrade of combat systems, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Undersea Warfare Systems Market 2018–2028” report.
GlobalData’s intelligence on “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2023-2033” reveals that in recent years, Boeing‘s P-8 Poseidon has emerged as a preferred choice for maritime patrolling requirements of several navies worldwide.
Designed to counter the challenges posed by fast, deep-diving double-hulled submarines in oceanic environments and quiet conventional submarines in coastal waters, Sting Ray Mod 1’s performance is a result of acoustic and tactical software development.
The decision to capitalise on the investment in the original Mod 0 variant positions Sting Ray as a lightweight, autonomous underwater weaponry for decades.