Features: Torpedoes may be launched from
submarines, surface ships, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. They are also
used as parts of other weapons; the Mark 46 torpedo becomes the warhead section
of the ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket) and the Captor mine uses a submerged sensor
platform that releases a torpedo when a hostile contact is detected. The three
major torpedoes in the Navy inventory are the Mark 48 heavyweight torpedo, the
Mark 46 lightweight and the Mark 50 advanced lightweight.
The MK-48 is designed to combat fast,
deep-diving nuclear submarines and high performance surface ships. It is carried
by all Navy submarines. The improved version, MK-48 ADCAP, is carried by attack
submarines, the Ohio
class ballistic missile submarines and will be carried by the Seawolf class
attack submarines. The MK-48 replaced both the MK-37 and MK-14 torpedoes. The
MK-48 has been operational in the U.S. Navy since 1972. MK-48 ADCAP became
operational in 1988 and was approved for full production in 1989.
The MK-46 torpedo is designed to attack high
performance submarines, and is presently identified as the NATO standard. The
MK-46 Mod 5 torpedo is the backbone of the Navy's lightweight ASW torpedo
inventory and is expected to remain in service until the year 2015.
The MK-50 is an advanced lightweight torpedo
for use against the faster, deeper-diving and more sophisticated submarines. The
MK-50 can be launched from all ASW aircraft, and from torpedo tubes aboard
surface combatant ships. The MK-50 will eventually replace the MK-46 as the
fleet's lightweight torpedo.
Features: MK-48 and MK-48 ADCAP torpedoes can
operate with or without wire guidance and use active and/or passive homing. When
launched they execute programmed target search, acquisition and attack
procedures. Both can conduct multiple reattacks if they miss the target. The
MK-46 torpedo is designed to be launched from surface combatant torpedo tubes,
ASROC missiles and fixed and rotary wing aircraft. In 1989, a major upgrade
program began to enhance the performance of the MK-46 Mod 5 in shallow water.
Weapons incorporating these improvements are identified as Mod 5A and Mod 5A(S).
Point of Contact:
Public Affairs Office
Naval Sea Systems Command (OOD)
Washington, DC 20362
next torpedo testcenter and tube,s