Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $425m contract by the US Navy to build and deliver fully integrated guidance and control systems for its MK 48 Mod 7 torpedoes.
Under the contract, Lockheed will provide the latest advancements in sonar systems as part of a five-year effort to increase the inventory of the MK 48 Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes for the US submarine fleet.
Lockheed Martin MK 48 programme director Tom Jarbeau said: "The latest guidance and control technologies for MK 48 torpedo are thanks in part to Lockheed Martin’s $10m investment in manufacturing efficiencies, facilities, and laboratories to ensure navies can pace the threats in littoral and deep sea environments.
"We are building on our five decades of experience in undersea systems and our strong record of providing complex electronic systems to our customers on schedule and on budget."
The company expects to receive production orders from the US navy for more than 250 torpedoes in the next five years.
Work under the contract will be carried out by Lockheed employees in Marion, Massachusetts, with additional support from employees at the company’s facilities in US in Manassas, Virginia; Palm Beach, Florida; and Syracuse, New York. Channel Technology Group (CTG) will provide the acoustic array for Lockheed’s sonar system.
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The MK 48 Mod 7 torpedo is used by all classes of US Navy submarines as their anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) weapon.
Lockheed’s guidance and control systems are designed to increase the bandwidth and enhance streamlined targeting and tracking capabilities of the heavyweight torpedoes, while improving MK 48’s effectiveness and offering advanced counter-measure capabilities.
In 2011, Lockheed was awarded the MK 48 common broadband advanced sonar system (CBASS) contract to upgrade the US Navy’s existing heavyweight torpedoes.
As part of this contract, around 20 Mod 7 CBASS kits are being delivered by the company to the navy every month.
Image: The US Navy submarines use MK 48 Mod 7 torpedo as their anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) weapon. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.