US Navy contracts Lockheed for MK 48 Mod 7 torpedo guidance upgrades

MK 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedoA CGI of a MK 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedo. Photo: Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Lockheed Martin Sippican a $72,8 million contract for the procurement of MK 48 Mod 7 heavyweight torpedo guidance and control sections.

Under the contract, Lockheed will also provide MK 48 Mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System upgrade kits, test equipment, spares, production support material, engineering support, and hardware repair support.

This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract up to $424,7 million.

Work will be performed in Marion, Massachusetts and is expected to be completed by December 2019.

The MK 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedo is an anti-surface and anti-submarine weapon jointly developed with the Royal Australian Navy, in use aboard U.S. Navy and allied submarines. According to Lockheed, the broadband sonar enhancement makes the torpedo more effective against emerging submarine classes in the harshest of acoustic environments. The CBASS torpedo also has the ability of multi-band operation. The MK 48 is designed for active and/or passive homing, counter-countermeasure capabilities.

Lockheed says it is effective against low-Doppler shallow submarines, fast deep diving submarines and high performance surface ships.

The 3,500 lbs (1,676 kg) torpedo is 19 ft (5.8 m) long and dives to a maximum depth of 1,200 ft (365 m). It travels at a speed of 28 knots and delivers a 650-lb (292.5 kg) warhead. The system uses Otto Fuel II as the propellant as an alternative to other fuels and electric propulsion.

The Mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) upgrade kit equips the heavyweight MK 48 with increased bandwidth and streamlined targeting and tracking capabilities. The kit includes a broadband analog sonar receiver, a guidance and control box, and a pre-amplifier. The CBASS program was first awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2011.

Replacement kits will upgrade the heavyweight torpedoes used by the entire United States submarine fleet for anti-submarine or anti-surface warfare. The MK 48 heavyweight torpedo is also employed by the allied navies of Australia, Canada, and The Netherlands.

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