Spearfish torpedo
The Spearfish torpedo is the heavy torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

 used by the submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

s of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. It can be guided by wire or by autonomous active or passive sonar
Acoustic homing
Acoustic homing is a system which uses sound to guide a moving object, such as a torpedo. Acoustic homing can be either Passive or Active in nature....

, and provides both anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

 (ASW) and anti-surface ship warfare
Anti-Surface Warfare
Anti-surface warfare is a type of naval warfare directed against surface combatants. More generally, it is any weapons, sensors, or operations intended to attack or limit the effectiveness of an adversary's surface ships....

 (ASuW) capability.

It replaces the unreliable Tigerfish torpedo, which was withdrawn in 2004; the significantly higher speed of the Spearfish was intended to catch high-speed, deep-diving Soviet
Soviet Navy
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy would have played an instrumental role in a Warsaw Pact war with NATO, where it would have attempted to prevent naval convoys from bringing reinforcements across the Atlantic Ocean...

 threats such as the .


The weapon is driven by a pump-jet
A pump-jet, hydrojet, or water jet, is a marine system that creates a jet of water for propulsion. The mechanical arrangement may be a ducted propeller with nozzle, or a centrifugal pump and nozzle...

 coupled to a Hamilton Sundstrand
Hamilton Sundstrand
Hamilton Sundstrand, is a global corporation that manufactures and supports aerospace and industrial products for worldwide markets. It was formed from the merger of Hamilton Standard and Sundstrand Corporation in 1999. A subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, HS is headquartered in Windsor...

 21TP04 gas turbine engine using Otto fuel II
Otto fuel II
Otto fuel II is a monopropellant used to drive torpedoes and other weapon systems. It is not related to the Otto cycle.-Properties:This distinct-smelling, reddish-orange, oily liquid is a mixture of three synthetic substances: propylene glycol dinitrate , 2-nitrodiphenylamine, and dibutyl...

 and hydroxyl ammonium perchlorate as oxidiser.

A microprocessor
A microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit on a single integrated circuit, or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and...

 aboard the weapon provides the ability to make autonomous tactical decisions during the attack. The torpedo has a powerful blast warhead, triggered by either contact detonation (against a submarine hull) or an acoustic proximity fuze
Proximity fuze
A proximity fuze is a fuze that is designed to detonate an explosive device automatically when the distance to target becomes smaller than a predetermined value or when the target passes through a given plane...

 (for under-keel detonation against ships).


The production contract for the Spearfish Torpedo was placed with GEC-Marconi
Marconi Company
The Marconi Company Ltd. was founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897 as The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company...

 Underwater Systems Ltd (now BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

) in 1983, following a development programme lasting for several years.


Spearfish entered full production in 1988, with deliveries completed in 2003; the number ordered has not been revealed. Spearfish torpedoes are stored and serviced at Beith
Beith is a small town situated in the Garnock Valley in North Ayrshire, Scotland approximately 20-miles south-west of Glasgow. The town is situated on the crest of a hill and was known originally as the "Hill o' Beith" after its Court Hill.-History:-Name:Beith's name is thought to emanate from...

 Ordnance Storage facility in North Ayrshire
North Ayrshire
North Ayrshire is one of 32 council areas in Scotland with a population of roughly 136,000 people. It is located in the south-west region of Scotland, and borders the areas of Inverclyde to the north, Renfrewshire to the north-east and East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire to the East and South...


See also

  • Mark 48 torpedo
    Mark 48 torpedo
    The Mark 48 and its improved ADCAP variant are heavyweight submarine-launched torpedoes. They were designed to sink fast, deep-diving nuclear-powered submarines and high-performance surface ships.-History:...

  • DM2A4 heavyweight torpedo
    DM2A4 Seehecht is the latest heavyweight torpedo developed by Atlas Elektronik for the German Navy, as a further update of DM2 torpedo which was released in 1976...

  • Fairey Spearfish
    Fairey Spearfish
    |-See also:-External links:* *...

    , an unrelated 1940s torpedo bomber aircraft
  • Yu-6 torpedo
    Yu-6 torpedo
    Yu-6 torpedo is the Chinese equivalent of the Mark 48 torpedo. In addition to wire and active / passive homing guidance, wake homing guidance is also incorporated. Many domestic Chinese sources have claimed that Yu-6 torpedo is in the same class as the Mk 48 Mod...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.