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Mark 48 Torpedo Testing

Mark 48 Torpedo Testing (Miscellaneous)

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Tags: military (36 pics), weapon (22 pics)

The Mark 48 and its improved ADCAP (Advanced Capability) variant are heavyweight submarine-launched torpedoes. They were designed to sink fast, deep-diving nuclear-powered submarines and high-performance surface ships.

History

The Mk-48 torpedo was designed in the end of the 1960 (60 years ago) to keep up with the advances in Soviet submarine technology. Operational since 1972 (48 years ago), it replaced the Mk-37 and Mk-14 torpedoes as the principal weapon of U.S. Navy submarines. With the entry into service of the new Soviet Alfa class submarine in 1979 (41 years ago), the decision was made to accelerate the ADCAP program, which would bring significant modifications to the torpedo. Tests were run to ensure that the weapon could keep on with the developments and the weapon was modified with improved acoustics and electronics. The new version of the weapon, also known as Mk-48 Mod 4, was extensively tested and production started in 1985 (35 years ago), with entry into service in 1988 (32 years ago). From then on, various upgrades have been added to the torpedo, of which the current version is the Mk-48 Mod 6, a mod 7 version was test fired in 2008 (12 years ago) in the Rim of Pacific Naval exercises. The inventory of the U.S. Navy is 1,046 Mk-48 torpedoes.

Deployment

The Mk-48 torpedo is designed to be launched from submarine torpedo tubes. The weapon is carried by all U.S. Navy submarines, including Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, Seawolf, Los Angeles and Virginia class attack submarines. It is also used on Canadian, Australian and Dutch submarines. The Royal Navy elected not to buy the Mark 48, preferring to use the Spearfish instead.

Mk-48 and Mk-48 ADCAP torpedoes can be guided from a submarine by wires attached to the torpedo. They can also use their own active or passive sensors to execute programmed target searches, acquisition and attack procedures. The torpedoes are designed to detonate under the keel of a surface ship, breaking the ship's back and destroying its structural integrity. In the event of a miss, it can circle back for another attempt.


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