US Navy moves ahead with light torpedo programmes

<p>The US Navy (USN) is getting ready for testing and other milestones throughout this year for its lightweight torpedo (LWT) and very lightweight torpedo (VLWT) programmes.</p>
<p>The navy intends to complete the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&amp;E) for MK 54 Mod 1LWT and High-Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Weapon Capability (HAAWC) in fiscal year (FY) 2021, the Pentagon Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&amp;E) noted in its annual report released in January 2021.</p>
<p>The USN is also expected to release a request for proposals (RFP) in mid-2021 for the VLWT. </p>
<p>“The MK 54 lightweight torpedo is the most capable ASW (anti-submarine warfare) weapon used by US surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters,” the DOT&amp;E reported.</p>
<p>HAAWC provides an adapter wing kit that allows aircrews to deploy an MK 54 from a P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft from higher than traditional altitudes. The wing kit glides the MK 54 to a water entry point directed by the P-8A combat system.</p>
<p>The MK 54 Mod 1 includes a new sonar array that provides higher resolution than previous MK 54 variants, DOT&amp;E noted. “Software modifications exploit the additional capability provided by the new sonar array.” </p>
<p>The MK 54 Mod 1 uses Advanced Processor Build (APB) 5 software that shares many components with the APB 5 variant of the MK 48 heavyweight torpedo. </p>
<p>Expected to deliver an Early Operational Capability in FY 2026, the MK 54 Mod 2 will feature a new propulsion system and warhead. However, the MK 54 Mod 2 is not compatible with the current Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine system or HAAWC systems. Also, the MK 54 Mod 1 torpedo is not approved for the VLA rocket. The current MK 54 Mod 0 and MK 54 Mod 0 Block upgrade variants support the VLA.</p>
<div class=”container”><img src=”[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]128c2121-bc84-4575-9c86-2c1e184aca36?sfvrsn=82086462_2″ alt=”A request for proposal for the US Navy very lightweight torpedo programme is expected in mid-2021. (Northrop Grumman)”></div>
Source: IHS Jane’s 360
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