MK 44 Torpedo

The Mk-44 torpedo is an active homing torpedo using a salt water-activated electric battery. Mk-44 Mod0 is lauched from helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Once in the water, the torpedo begins a spiral search pattern for target acquisition. The Mod1/2 are launched from surface combatants, thus is programed to weave away from its lauch ship and begin spiralling a safe distance away. Although widely used aroung the world, it has been withdrawn from service in the US Navy. The MK 44 was the warhead of the UUM-44A SUBROC anti-submarine missile, withdrawn from service in 1990, which could also carry the MK 46 torpedo.

MK-46 Torpedo

Torpedoes are self-propelled guided projectiles that operate underwater and are designed to detonate on contact or in proximity to a target. They 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 detected. The three major torpedoes in the Navy inventory are the Mark 48 heavyweight torpedo, the Mark 46 lightweight and the Mark 50 advanced lightweight. The MK-46 torpedo is designed to attack high performance submarines, and is presently identified as the NATO standard. The MK-46 torpedo is designed to be launched from surface combatant torpedo tubes, ASROC missiles and fixed and rotary wing aircraft. In 1989, a major upgrade program began to enhance the performance of the MK-46 Mod 5 in shallow water. Weapons incorporating these improvements are identified as Mod 5A and Mod 5A(S). The MK-46 Mod 5 torpedo is the backbone of the Navy's lightweight ASW torpedo inventory and is expected to remain in service until the year 2015. The MK 46 originated with the RETORC I (Research Torpedo Configuration I) program conducted by the US Naval Undersea Center (NUC) at Pasadena, CA.


MK 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tube (SVTT)

The MK-32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes handle the MK-46 and MK-50 torpedo subsurface warfare weapons on a variety of surface combatants. The MK 32 is an ASW launching system which pneumatically launches torpedoes over-the-side of ownship. The SVTT is capable of stowing and launching up to three torpedoes - either Mk 46 or Mk 50 Torpedoes. The Mk 46 Torpedo is a high-speed, deep-running, acoustic-homing, anti-submarine weapon; while the Mk 50 Torpedo is a light-weight weapon replacing the Mk 46 with improved features, such as - increase speed, deeper running, and countermeasures, and decrease running-noise. The SVTT launches torpedoes under local control or remote control from an ASW fire control system. A 1600 PSI maximum air flask pressure is authorized for all MK 32 SVTT fleet firings of MK 46 and MK 50 torpedos and exercise shots, an increase over the nominal 1500 PSI rating, despite concerns that the increased flask pressure (1600 psi) mightcause increased incidents of broaching due to reduced water entry angle.