Two torpedo-upgrade contracts in the same week signal determination to boost ASW capabilities
THE MIL & AERO BLOG, 26 Aug. 2014. In this dangerous world of ours, it's heartening to see real progress made last week in boosting the nation's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.
The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington let two contracts last Wednesday -- one to Raytheon and the other to Lockheed Martin Sippican -- to upgrade the Nav's Mark 54 lightweight air- and surface ship-launched torpedoes, as well as the Navy's heavyweight Mark 48 submarine-launched torpedoes.
Raytheon will provide repair and upgrade kits for the Mark 54 torpedo that include the torpedo's processor group assembly (PGA), control group assembly (CGA), inertial measurement unit (IMU), cables, fuel tank, and afterbody upgrade items such as dual winding alternator (DWA), speed control value (SCV), bulkhead, and other parts.
Lockheed Martin Sippican, meanwhile, will provide kits to upgrade the Mark 48 heavy torpedo to Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) capabilities. The kits consist of a guidance and control box, broadband analog sonar receiver, preamplifier, cable assemblies, and guidance and control assembly materials.
CBASS will provide the Mark 48 with advanced common broadband advanced sonar system for expanded operational capabilities for shallow waters along coastlines and inside harbors, as well as in the deep-water open ocean.
The CBASS broadband sonar enhancement makes the torpedo more effective against emerging submarine classes in harsh acoustic environments. The Mark 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedo uses modern commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies in an open-architecture computing environment, and can be upgraded with regular hardware and software upgrades.
These upgrades to aircraft- and submarine-launched torpedoes will give the U.S. Navy the most modern ASW capabilities possible. It couldn't come at a more opportune time as global tensions heighten in Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.