§ Mr. Sweeney
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the contract for the development of the life extended Sting Ray torpedo will be placed. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
I am pleased to announce that we have today placed a contract worth some £109 million with GEC-Marconi underwater weapons division for the development of the life extended Sting Ray.
The Sting Ray lightweight anti-submarine torpedo has been in service with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force since 1983 and it is planned to extend its life by replacing expired components, and by so doing to improve its performance to maintain the weapon's effectiveness in the first two decades of the next century.