India has signed contract with US to procure Mk 54 Lightweight Torpedoes

According to news published by Indian Newspaper websites on October 22, 2021, the Indian defense ministry has signed a contract with the US government to procure MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes for the Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare aircraft P-8I.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 British Royal Air Force Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft launches Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedo during a training exercise. (Picture source British Royal Air Force)

The Mk 54 Lightweight Torpedo is the primary Antisubmarine Warfare weapon used by U.S. surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters. The U.S. Navy designed the Mk 54 sonar processing to operate in shallow-water environments and in the presence of sonar countermeasures.

The Mark 54 was co-developed by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and the U.S. Navy under the U.S. Navy's Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo program in response to perceived problems with the extant Mark 50 and Mark 46 torpedoes.

The Mark 54 torpedo has a length of 2.71 m, a diameter of 32.3 cm, and a weight of 275.7 kg. The warhead carried by the weapon is high explosive and weighs 43.9 kg. The MK 54 lightweight torpedo is powered by a reciprocating external combustion engine, which burns Otto II liquid fuel. The propulsion system allows the torpedo to cruise at a speed of 74.1 km per hour. The torpedo has an operational range of 9.1 km.

The Mk 54 can be fired from surface ships via the Mark 32 surface vessel torpedo tubes or the vertical launch anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) systems, and also from most ASW aircraft, although they are slightly different lengths and weights.

The Mk 54 torpedo is small and light enough that five can be carried in the P-8 Poseidon’s internal weapons bay. The high-explosive warheads on the live torpedoes pack a devastating punch sufficient to destroy enemy submarines that the Poseidon crew can locate and track using state-of-the-art equipment. The P-8 Poseidon uses the High-Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapons Capability (HAAWWC) GPS-guided parachute kit to drop torpedoes from high altitudes.