US Navy contracts SAIC to produce tailcone sections of MK 48 heavyweight torpedo

The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has awarded Science Applications International Corp. a contract to manufacture additional MK 48 Mod 7 heavyweight torpedo afterbody/tailcone sections.

The contract has a 27-month base period of performance from award to final acceptance and includes options for the procurement of spares, production support material, engineering services, test equipment design and manufacturing, and hardware repair services.

According to SAIC, the contract has a potential value of $383 million if all options are exercised.

SAIC is teamed with Lockheed Martin, who will procure various afterbody/tailcone assemblies, as well as provide engineering services. Lockheed Martin is currently manufacturing guidance and control systems for the MK 48 Mod 7 torpedo. These guidance and control systems will increase bandwidth, provide streamlined targeting and tracking capabilities to enable greater effectiveness and provide advanced counter-measure capabilities.

The MK 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedo is an anti-surface and anti-submarine weapon jointly developed with the Royal Australian Navy, in use aboard U.S. Navy and allied submarines.

According to prime contractor Lockheed Martin, the 3,500 lbs (1,676 kg) torpedo is 19 ft (5.8 m) long and dives to a maximum depth of 1,200 ft (365 m). It travels at a speed of 28 knots and delivers a 650-lb (292.5 kg) warhead. The system uses Otto Fuel II as the propellant as an alternative to other fuels and electric propulsion.

Lockheed Martin was recently contracted to improve the torpedo with a Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) upgrade. According to the company, the broadband sonar enhancement makes the torpedo more effective against emerging submarine classes in harsh acoustic environments. The CBASS torpedo also has the ability of multi-band operation.