Naval Systems in Paris develops precision-guided and safe long-range torpedoes for world's submarines

April 6, 2020
The F21 travels double the distance any other torpedo can travel, in depths ranging from 50 to 1,640 feet, guided via a fiber-optic cable.

PARIS – The heavyweight torpedoes launched by submarines are secret, unseen, mysterious. Their universe: the dark silence of deep oceans. Their purpose: to destroy enemy subs and surface warships. Their use: only once every 80 years or so. Popular Science reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

6 April 2020 -- The long-range maritime weapon is more likely to sit in its launching tube for 30 or 35 years—that’s the average life-span of a heavyweight torpedo—and then be dismantled, than it is to be shot at an enemy. That makes the delivery of a brand new, designed-from-scratch, heavyweight torpedo notable.

The F21, designed and manufactured by Naval Group in Paris, has been years in the making. The Naval Group finally delivered the first six of 93 to the French navy in late November 2019. An unspecified number were then delivered in early January 2020 to the Brazilian navy, which is replacing its Lockheed Martin MK 48 torpedoes with the F21.

Torpedoes, which basically are underwater missiles, are classified as either heavyweight or lightweight. Heavyweights, delivered generally by submarines—but sometimes by surface warships—are designed to sink or cripple enemy submarines and warships. They carry an explosive charge of about 660 pounds and travel at high speed towards the target either by themselves or guided by a wire that trails behind and attaches it to the submarine. Lightweight torpedoes, deployed by aircraft close to their target, cannot be wire-guided, carry only about 90 pounds of explosives, and are just used against submarines.

Related: Lockheed Martin to provides guidance and control upgrades for Navy Mark 48 submarine-launched torpedo

Related: Add-on kits create flying torpedoes for P-8A Poseidon to attack enemy submarines from high altitudes

Related: Navy asks Progeny Systems for sonar upgrade kits for MK 54 torpedo for ships, planes, and helicopters

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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