The US Navy has awarded a contract to Raytheon to provide Mk54 lightweight torpedoes for US fleet inventory and to boost the Royal Australian and Indian navies’ undersea warfare capabilities.
Under the $45.3m contract, Raytheon will provide Mk54 torpedoes, along with hardware, test equipment, spares and related engineering and repair services in support of foreign military sales to both navies.
Raytheon’s integrated defence systems seapower capabilities vice president Kevin Peppe said: "As enemy submarines remain a threat to security, stability and access to the world’s oceans, naval forces worldwide require a reliable and effective undersea warfare weapon."
The Mk54 is a hybrid surface-ship and air-launched anti-submarine weapon torpedo designed to attack high-speed, nuclear-powered submarines in both deep and shallow water and in various acoustic environments.
Capable of deploying from surface ships and aircraft to detect and attack underwater targets, the Mk54 next-generation anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapon features commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology.
Jointly developed by Raytheon and the US Navy, the weapon can support broad-area, maritime and littoral operations, while enhancing critical capability to the long-range ASW, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
Having achieved its initial operational capability in 2004, the missile can be launched using Mk32 surface vessel torpedo tubes or the vertical launch anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) systems, as well as from ASW aircraft.
Compatible with more than 20 launch platforms, the Mk54 also features design guidance and control systems, with shallow water capabilities and can be installed with minimum conversion costs to support navy missions.
The Mk54 torpedo is an upgrade of the Mk46 torpedo, which it will replace along with the Mk50.