Royal Navy Duke-class Frigate HMS Kent (F78) flexed her muscle tissue after the summer time break by firing up most of her weapons techniques – together with the uncommon launch of a torpedo. To arrange herself for front-line duties later this autumn, the Portsmouth-based frigate despatched excessive explosive shells hurtling out of the principle 4.5in gun to calibrate muzzle velocity (they need to burst out of the barrel at greater than twice the pace of sound), check fired machine weapons each on the ship and her Pacific 24 sea boats, streamed out her Sonar 2087 towed array (a 1,700-metre ‘tail’ lined with hydrophones and Kent’s finest ears when searching submarines) and firing off a Sting Ray, certainly one of two weapons she makes use of to take out these underwater threats.

Royal Navy Kind 23 Duke-class Frigate HMS Kent (F78)

Sting Ray is principally launched by a Merlin Mk2 (AgustaWestland AW101) naval helicopter which may additionally drop depth fees to cope with hostile submarines. Ideally the mix of Sonar 2087 and Sting Ray-armed Merlin ought to maintain underwater threats at bay, effectively out of vary of putting distance of Kent. But when not the ship carries horizontal launchers – simply ahead of the Portsmouth frigate’s hangar – which use excessive strain to propel Sting Ray out of its tube, earlier than the small drogue parachute deploys to sluggish its entry into the water. Thereafter, the torpedo – packing a 100lb explosive cost to damage any submariner’s day – races by the water at greater than 50mph till it strikes its goal.


The drogue parachute deploys to slow the torpedo's entry into the war.
The drogue parachute deploys to sluggish the torpedo’s entry into the conflict.

The Sting Ray is a British acoustic homing light-weight torpedo (LWT) manufactured by GEC-Marconi, who have been later purchased out by BAE Techniques. It’s propelled by a pump jet pushed by an electrical motor. Energy is equipped by a magnesium/silver-chloride sea water battery. The propulsion technique combines excessive pace, deep diving, agility and low noise ranges. As soon as launched it operates autonomously, with tactical software program trying to find the goal utilizing energetic sonar after which homing in with none additional help. The software program is designed to cope with the employment of countermeasures by the goal. The weapon is designed to be launched from mounted wing or rotary winged plane and floor ships towards submarine targets.

The dummy Sting Ray is checked after being recovered
The dummy Sting Ray is checked after being recovered

HMS Kent is a Kind 23 Duke class frigate of the Royal Navy, and the twelfth ship to bear the title, though technically she is known as after the dukedom reasonably than the county. Sponsored by Princess Alexandra, The Hon. Girl Ogilvy (daughter of the late Prince George, Duke of Kent), Kent was launched on 28 Might 1998 and commissioned on 8 June 2000. She was the primary ship to enter Royal Navy service within the twenty first century. The ships are named after British Dukes, thus resulting in the category being generally generally known as the Duke class. The Royal Navy’s Kind 23 frigates will probably be changed by the Kind 26 World Fight Ship and the Kind 31 frigate.

Royal Navy Duke-class Frigate HMS Kent (F78) Successfully Launches Sting Ray Torpedo
Excessive strain air propels the Sting Ray out of its launcher. (Picture by Royal Navy)