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MK 48 - Heavyweight Torpedo

Last updated: 15 Nov 2023


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 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 MK 48 MOD 6 production torpedo was delivered in 1996. Since then, the Navy has provided discrete improvements to MK 48 MOD 6 via upgrade kits to the torpedo's guidance and control and propulsion systems. The MK 48 MOD 6 torpedo reached Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 1997.

The latest version of the MK 48 is the MOD 7, which is optimized for both traditional and emerging missions. The MK 48 MOD 7 torpedo is the result of a Joint Development Program with the Royal Australian Navy and reached IOC in 2006. The MK 48 MOD 7 hardware upgrade has enabled further software improvements to the MK 48 that provide increased capability in the most challenging scenarios. 

General Characteristics, MK 48

Primary Function: Heavyweight Torpedo

Contractor: Lockheed Martin, SAIC

Propulsion: Liquid propellant

Diameter: 21 inches

Weight: 3,744 pounds

Warhead: 650 pounds, high-explosive

Point of Contact
Naval Sea Systems Command
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)

Washington, D.C. 20376

(202) 781-4123


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