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Surface Vessel Weapon System
Mk-54 MAKO Torpedo
mk-54 mako lightweight torpedo lht

The Mark 54 MAKO Lightweight Torpedo, previously known as the Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo (LHT), 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 was created by combining the homing and warhead portions of the Mk-50 and the propulsion unit of the Mk-46, improved for better performance in shallow water, and with the addition of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to further reduce costs. It shares much of the software and computer hardware of the Mk 48 ADCAP heavy torpedo, based around a custom PowerPC 603e chip.

Developmental testing began in July, 1999, and a successful critical design review was completed in November, 1999.

In April 2003, Raytheon was awarded a sole source contract for the production of the Mk 54. Full rate production began in October, 2004. In March 2010 the Fifth Fleet requested improvements in the Mk 54's performance against diesel-electric submarines via an Urgent Operational Need Statement (UONS). This led to a software Block Upgrade (BUG) program which began testing in August 2011 and which continues, having been criticised by the DOT&E for using unrealistic proxies for threat submarines.

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 altitude.

The FY14 DOT&E report assessed the Mk 54 (BUG) torpedo as not operationally effective in its intended role. "During operationally challenging and realistic scenarios, the Mk 54 (BUG) demonstrated below threshold performance and exhibited many of the same failure mechanisms observed during the FY 2004 initial operational testing". Shortfalls were also identified with the employing platforms’ tactics and tactical documentation, and interoperability problems with some platform fire control systems.

source: wikipedia (2016)

General Characteristics:
Contractor: Raytheon
Length: 106.9 inch (272 cm)
Diameter: 12.75 inch (324 mm)
Weight: 608 pounds (276 kg)
Propulsion: liquid propellant (Otto II)
Speed: 40+ knots (74+ km/h)
Warhead: 96.8 pounds, high-explosive
Guidance: active or passive/active acoustic homing
Launching platforms: Mk-32 Torpedo Tubes, ASW-aircraft, RUM-139 VL-ASROC

The Mark 54 is carried by the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Navy. In October 2010, Australia ordered 200 more torpedoes. In June 2011, it was reported that India will get 32 Mk 54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $86 million through U.S. government's Foreign Military Sales program for P8I LRMP.


mk-54 mako lightweight torpedo lht asw aircraft p-3 orion
Mk-54 MAKO lightweight torpedo in the weapons-bay of a ASW-aircraft

mk-54 lightweight mako lht torpedo exercise
Mk-54 exercise torpedo during recovery

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