Ultra awarded $23 million for Mk 54 lightweight torpedoes

Mk 54 torpedo
Royal Australian Navy photo

Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems has been granted a $23 million fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-only contract modification for the manufacturing of MK 54 MOD 0 lightweight torpedo (LWT) array kits, associated production support material, spares, and technical and hardware support services.

Under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, this contract combines purchases for the US government as well as the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Spain, and Brazil. The MK54 MOD 0 LWT array kits program is in its third year of providing array nose assembly kits.

Martin Lewis, President of Naval Systems and Sensors, commented:“As we continue to provide critical components of the MK54 lightweight torpedo, we understand the ongoing need to deliver reliable and effective undersea warfare capabilities to meet the anti-submarine warfare needs of U.S. and allied fleets.”

About Mk 54 Torpedo:

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The Arleigh-Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) launches Mk54 torpedo.

The Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedo (formerly known as Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo, or LHT) is a standard 12.75-inch (324 mm) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo.

The Mark 54 was co-developed by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and the U.S. Navy under the U.S. Navy’s Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo program in response to perceived problems with the extant Mark 50 and Mark 46 torpedoes. The Mk 50, having been developed to counter very high-performance nuclear submarines such as the Soviet Alfa class, was seen as too expensive to use against relatively slow conventional submarines. The older Mk 46, designed for open-ocean use, performed poorly in the littoral areas, where the Navy envisioned itself likely to operate in the future.

The Mk 54 can be fired from surface ships via the Mark 32 surface vessel torpedo tubes or the vertical launch anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) systems, and also from most ASW aircraft, although they are slightly different lengths and weights. The P-8 Poseidon uses the High-Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapons Capability (HAAWWC) GPS-guided parachute kit to drop torpedoes from high altitudes.

Mk 54 Key Specs:

  • Mass: 608 lb (276 kg)
  • Length: 106.9 in (2.72 m)
  • Diameter: 12.75 in (324 mm)
  • Warhead: PBXN-103
  • Warhead weight: 96.8 lb (43.9 kg)
  • Blast yield: 238 lb (108 kg) TNT
  • Engine: reciprocating external combustion
  • Propellant: Otto II (liquid)
  • Operational range: 10,000 yd (9.1 km)
  • Maximum speed: >40 kn (74.1 km/h; 46.0 mph)
  • Guidance system: Active or passive/active Acoustic homing

Check out Naval Library App to find out more about the specifications of the Mk 54 torpedoes.

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