The firing of this weapon system has been able to happen through hard work by a very able and determined team

POET(WE) Colin Howie, weapon sytems engineer HMS Westminster

Thereafter, Sting Ray - just 8ft 6in long, but packing a 100lb explosive charge to ruin any submariner's day - races through the water at more than 50mph until it strikes its target.

In this instance, the dummy weapon was recovered once the exercise was complete.

The system is among a Type 23's last line of defence against the submarine menace; normally the towed array should find an enemy boat long before it is within striking range, and a Merlin or Wildcat helicopter armed with Sting Rays or depth charges should have finished it off.

But if the submarine evades detection…

Ensuring both towed array and magazine-launched system were in full working order was a team under POET(WE) Colin Howie.

Well on her way, preparing to re-join the operational Fleet, today was a significant milestone for the submarine hunting frigate as she proved both her towed array sonar, her key tool for submarine detection, as well as, her Stingray torpedo launcher for fending-off submarines that stray too close.

"The firing of this torpedo system has been able to happen through hard work by a very able and determined team," he said. "It proves working in partnership with the civilians and other agencies the Royal Navy is still a force to be reckoned with."

HMNB Portsmouth

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Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering)

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