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U.S. Navy Fact Sheet

MK 48 - Heavyweight Torpedo

The MK 48 heavyweight torpedo is used by all classes of submarines as their anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) weapon.

The MK 48 ADCAP torpedo is a heavyweight acoustic-homing torpedo with sophisticated sonar, all-digital guidance-and-control systems, digital fusing systems, and propulsion improvements. Its digital guidance system allows for repeated upgrades to counter evolving threats through software upgrades. The last new ADCAP torpedo was delivered in 1996. Since then, the Navy has provided discrete improvements to the torpedo’s guidance and control and propulsion systems.

The MK 48 ADCAP Mod 6 torpedo combines two significant enhancements: one in guidance and control (G&C Mod), and the other in the torpedo propulsion unit (TPU Mod). The G&C Mod improves the acoustic receiver, replaces the guidance-and-control hardware with updated technology, increases memory, and improves processor throughput to handle the expanded software demands required to improve torpedo performance against evolving threats. The TPU Mod provides a significant reduction in torpedo radiated-noise signatures. The MK 48 Mod 6 torpedo reached Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 1997 and the latest improvement was fielded in 2009. The Mod 6 is also the first torpedo that can utilize the Torpedo Downloader System (TD) which can provide rapid software updates to embarked weapons, allowing the submarine to deploy with the most up-to-date software variant.

The latest version of the MK 48 ADCAP is Mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) which is optimized for both the deep and littoral waters and has advanced counter-countermeasure capabilities. The MK 48 ADCAP Mod 7 CBASS torpedo is the result of a Joint Development Program with the Royal Australian Navy and reached Initial Operational Capability in 2006. Current improvement efforts are focusing on improving CBASS performance in shallow water against the most challenging of targets.

Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, D.C. 20376
General Characteristics, MK 48
Primary Function: Heavyweight Torpedo
Contractor: Lockheed Martin
Propulsion: piston engine; pump jet
Diameter: 21 inches
Weight: 3,520 pounds
Speed: Greater than 28 knots (32.2 mph, 51.52 kph
Range: more than 5 miles
Depth: Greater than 1,200 ft (365.76 meters)
Warhead: 650 pounds, high-explosive
Last Update: 6 December 2013