Torpedo is self-propelled guided projectile that operates underwater and is designed to detonate in case of contact or in proximity to a target.

Torpedoes may be launched from submarines, surface ships, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. They are also used as parts of other weapons; the Mark 46 torpedo becomes the warhead section of the ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) and the Captor mine uses a submerged sensor platform that releases a torpedo when a hostile contact is directed. The major torpedoes in the Navy inventory are the Mark 48 heavyweight torpedo, the Mark 46 lightweight and Mark 50 advanced lightweight.

The Mark 46 torpedo is designed to attack high performance submarines, and is presently identified as the NATO standard. The Mark 46 Mod 5 torpedo is the backbone of the Navys lightweight ASW torpedo inventory and is expected to remain in service until the year 2015.

The Mark 50 is an advanced lightweight torpedo for use against the faster, deeper-diving () and more sophisticated submarines. The Mark 50 can be launched from all ASW aircraft, and from torpedo tubes ( ) abroad surface combatant ships. The Mark 50 will eventually replace the Mark 46 as the fleets lightweight torpedo.

General Characteristics, MK-46 Mod 5:

Primary Function: Air and ship-launched lightweight torpedo;

Power Plant: Two-speed, reciprocating external combustion ( ); mono-propellant fueled ();

Length: 102.36 in;

Weight: 517.65 lbs;

Diameter: 12.75 in;

Range: 8.000 yards;

Depth: Greater than 1.200 ft;

Speed: Greater than 28 knots;

Guidance system: Homing mode: Active or passive/active acoustic homing;

Warhead: 98 lbs of PBNX 103 high explosive (bulk charge);


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