Raytheon gets $60m to deliver torpedoes to Taiwan, US Navy

The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Raytheon a $60 million contract modification for work on the delivery of torpedoes and related support services for the navies of the US and Taiwan.

Taiwan defense ministry photo of SS-793 Hai Lung

Half of the purchases under the contract are reserved for Taiwan, while 47 percent is for the US Navy with remaining three percent set aside for work with the governments of Canada, Australia and India.

In addition to US Navy deliveries, the contract will see Raytheon provide MK-48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology (AT) heavyweight torpedoes for Taiwan’s two Hai Lung-class submarines, a modified version of the Dutch Navy’s Zwaardvis-class boats delivered to Taiwan in 1987 and 1988.

Torpedo purchases are part of wider upgrade program carried out by the Taiwan Navy which will see the two submarines receive hull, mechanical and electric upgrades. The upgrades are expected to be completed by 2020.

Raytheon received the contract after the US state department approved the potential sale of MK-48 torpedoes to Taiwan in June 2017. Work on the contract is scheduled to be completed by July 2021 when Taiwan will join the navies of Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands and the US who already use the torpedo.

The MK 48 torpedo to be delivered to Taiwan has an improved acoustic receiver and updated guidance-and-control hardware. It delivers a 650-pound warhead and has a range of over five miles.