HMS Talent recently fired a torpedo at itself – three times – but don’t worry, it was part of the trials process.
According to the Royal Navy, there was no risk to the submarine:
“The Trafalgar-class boat – whose mission is to hunt and, if necessary, kill hostile submarines – fired the upgraded Spearfish on the ranges near the Isle of Skye to rigorously test it before it enters service. During the three-day trial, the cutting-edge Spearfish was fired at Talent three times – and was programmed to safely pass the submarine to ensure there was no risk of the boat torpedoing herself.”
Commander Paul Jamieson, Commanding Officer of HMS Talent, said:
“Talent has been the host platform on two occasions for this trial and my team are proud to have had a role in this important programme. The Spearfish upgrade will ensure the submarine service continues to possess a very credible weapon system, capable of dealing with potential future threats.”
Captain John Aitken, the Spearfish Programme Director, and a former commanding officer of Talent, said:
“This trial marks the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work from the Spearfish team and our partners in industry. The ‘Mod 1’ weapon is at the very cutting edge of torpedo technology and underscores Britain’s position as one of the global leaders in underwater capability. That Talent continues her proud tradition of delivering exactly what is required of her makes this all the more pleasing for me.”
The Royal Navy added that this was the second time Talent, the second oldest boat in the RN’s flotilla, was selected for Spearfish trials, with a Royal Navy, Defence Equipment & Support and BAE team heading aboard.
“A dummy run saw the first of four torpedoes launched into a target vessel, before three successful firings pitched Talent against herself, avoiding striking her using ‘geographical depth separation’. The torpedoes were then recovered and work is now ongoing to study the data from the trial to support decisions made in the next phases of the programme as the torpedo moves towards Initial Operating Capability.”
The operational version of the weapon will be introduced to all front-line Royal Navy submarines by 2025.