Warship fires dummy torpedo into nuclear submarine dockyard wharf

Royal Navy investigates after weapon containing no explosives is accidentally jettisoned during training exercise in Plymouth

An investigation is under way after a Royal Navy warship accidentally fired a torpedo into a dockyard wharf where Britain’s nuclear submarines are refuelled and repaired.

HMS Argyll was on a training exercise at Devonport dockyard in Plymouth when the torpedo was “jettisoned unexpectedly”.

The navy said the Test Variant torpedo was a dummy weapon which contained no explosives. No one was injured in the incident on Wednesday, but training has been suspended while an investigation is carried out.

A spokesman said no one was on the jetty at the time, and the torpedo caused minor damage to a security fence when it landed inside the base.

“We can confirm an incident occurred on board HMS Argyll on March 12 at 3.24pm, while the ship was alongside at Devonport naval base in Plymouth,” the spokesman said. “HMS Argyll was conducting a system test when an inert Test Variant torpedo was jettisoned unexpectedly. The torpedo is not an explosive hazard.”

Plymouth-based HMS Argyll, which was built in the late 1980s, is the longest-serving Type 23 frigate in the Royal Navy.

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