Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,101 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Torpedo Experimental Establishment

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The earliest work on torpedoes took place towards the end of the 19th century at the Royal Gun Factory, Woolwich.

By the mid-1930s 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 Co at Weymouth.

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.

1959 TEE closed and torpedo research, development and design were concentrated at the newly formed Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment (AUWE) at Portland.

1969 RTNF closed

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

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

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] National Archives