Catalogue description Admiralty: Royal Navy Torpedo Factory and Torpedo Experimental Establishment: Reports and Technical Notes

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Details of ADM 290
Reference: ADM 290
Title: Admiralty: Royal Navy Torpedo Factory and Torpedo Experimental Establishment: Reports and Technical Notes

A collection of reports and technical notes, gathered from various sources, reflecting the Torpedo Factory, Greenock, and the Torpedo Experimental Establishment's responsibility for research into all aspects of torpedoes except launching gear.

Date: 1930-1960
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Admiralty Torpedo Experimental Establishment, 1943-1959

Royal Navy Torpedo Factory, 1935-1960

Physical description: 655 files and volumes
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure
Administrative / biographical background:

The earliest work on torpedoes took place towards the end of the 19th century at the Royal Gun Factory, Woolwich. By the mid-1930's design and some production were established at the RN Torpedo Factory (RNTF), Greenock, while other production to Admiralty designs was carried out commercially, notably by the Whitehead Torpedo Company at Weymouth.

In 1937, as re-armament proceeded, a factory was purchased at Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, to expand production. For the early part of the War of 1939-1945 the organisation coped with requirements, but in 1943 the urgent need to expand development led to the creation of a separate entity, the Torpedo Experimental Establishment (TEE), at Greenock on part of the factory site. This was controlled by the Superintendent, Torpedo Experiment and Design (STED). By degrees production was moved to the Alexandria factory which then became RNTF, a process completed by 1947, thus allowing TEE to expand considerably, so that it eventually covered all aspects of torpedo technology, except launching gear. In 1959, however, TEE closed and torpedo research, development and design were concentrated at the newly formed Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment (AUWE) at Portland.

The RTNF closed in 1969 and the factory was acquired in 1971 by The Plessey Co UK, at that time manufacturers of the Mk44 torpedo. However, their production unit closed within a year.

AUWE became the Admiralty Research Establishment (ARE), Portland, in 1984.

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