The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has issued a pre-procurement notice seeking industry input for the development of next-generation Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) systems.

The Request for Information (RFI0044), published on 11 June 2024, aims to gather insights on capabilities, technologies, and systems that could inform and support future planning in this critical defence area.

The Royal Navy’s current SSTD system is slated to remain in service until 2030, and the MOD is exploring options to maintain and enhance this capability.

The notice highlights several areas of interest, including sensing capability, softkill and hardkill effectors, effector delivery mechanisms, processing, platform and combat system integration, and platform and force-level defence.

“This RFI is not a bidding opportunity but a means by which industry can provide information,” the notice states.

“In accordance with the principles of the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS) the Royal Navy is committed to developing an ever more productive and strategic relationship with defence and security industries, capitalising on your skills as part of our support for increased transparency and inclusivity. Any future procurement activity would be conducted in accordance with the relevant Procurement legislation in place at that point in time. A decision by any prospective provider not to submit a response to this RFI will not prejudice future engagements.”

Interested parties are encouraged to submit ‘White Papers’ of no more than five pages, detailing ‘end to end’ systems or components and directly addressing the questions posed in the RFI Annex. Responses should include indicative costs and timelines to aid future outline planning and the potential creation of business cases.

The MOD has specified that responses should cover both traditional capabilities and novel systems and approaches. “Responses regarding extant/traditional capabilities as well as novel systems and approaches are encouraged,” the notice adds.

The deadline for submissions is 2 August 2024 at 22:59.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Mark B
Mark B (@guest_826176)
1 month ago

Whilst technically an RFI might not be a bid it is an attempt to identify what it out there, what is new and who is capable of providing it. Depending on the response received will likely influence the direction & timing of the bid process.

CornishSeagull
CornishSeagull (@guest_826196)
1 month ago

Not sure why an ASW frigate would be operating with a Merlin mk4 Commando helicopter in the CGI? Maybe I’m being pedantic?

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_826200)
1 month ago
Reply to  CornishSeagull

Isn’t the image a Type 31?

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_826203)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It certainly is 👍

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_826204)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Just saying, not an ASW frigate, so torpedo defence is very relevant. Don’t know if T31 is fitted with the current SSTD.

Dern
Dern (@guest_826244)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Pretty sure the T31 is getting it’s torpedo defence system migrated over from T23 initially.

Dern
Dern (@guest_826245)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

With a variable depth towed sonar array… apparently.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_826247)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

That’s the sonar of the SSTDS, I think
It has a towed detector so it knows when a torpedo is coming.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_826205)
1 month ago
Reply to  CornishSeagull

Boss to 3D artist: Put a Merlin helicopter there. 3D artist goes to a 3D model store and grabs the cheapest Merlin there…maybe goes even to a freeware one.

Last edited 1 month ago by AlexS
Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_826310)
1 month ago

The current system is very good. A winch for the passive array and other bits attached to it, a couple of electronics cabinets, control cabinet in the ops room and the bridge and launchers on the upper deck. Besides some modernisation of electronics and processors it’s hard to see what can be done to improve what it already does. Possibly integrating decoys into the new trainable decoy launchers would be an option but that would take valuable launch tubes away from ASMD. A hit to kill small, fast torpedo-like interceptor could be an option. The problem is unlike a regular… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_826320)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Can the system plot the torpedo’s path and extrapolate back to the locate the submarine that fired it?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_826364)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It will give you a bearing line that the torpedo is coming down and tell you what speed and courses to steer to maximise the effect of the tail decoy and decoy launcher.

As some torps are wire guided and have a 30KM+ range a bearing line isn’t much help on working out where a sub is. A sub would have used a dog leg attack course for the torp it fired at you.

Jon
Jon (@guest_826321)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Didn’t the Americans try that and give up as it was too difficult?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_826366)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Yep…but then again, the Americans are pretty poor at ASW sensors and weapons!
They tried to design and bring into service a towed VDS active sonar…binned it after spending 500mil in development and decided to go and buy Captas 4 (S2087) which the RN uses to great effect.
American LWT are not a great success performance wise either so it’s no surprise that their interceptor torp project didn’t deliver.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_826371)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

They did, and they did.
If I recall, it was specifically systems on their carriers that were trialled and removed. I doubt they’ve given up on the concept, just that the version they had wasn’t working.
It was the hard-kill system that wasn’t working properly I believe; much as Gunbuster says, it’s not an easy thing to get right.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_826441)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

There are various types of anti torpedo systems from noise, decoys and pure anti torpedo torpedo etc. USN cancelled the last one, lets call it APS for torpedos instead of ATGMs

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_826631)
1 month ago

Can anyone advise if these anti-torpedo type systems are also on RFA vessels, including future builds, plus the carriers? All are very key assets and bloody big fat targets even if they will have escorts.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_826858)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

SSTD is usually FTR. You put it on an ship going to an ASW threat area and take it off when doing normal stuff.
We had it fitted to Bulwark when going to the Far East. If pootling around in the Caribbean or States where the ASW threat is minimal you wouldn’t normally get it.