Mark 50 torpedo
|Mark 50 Advanced Lightweight Torpedo|
Mark 50 torpedo being fired
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||United States Navy|
|Weight||approx. 800 lb (360 kg)|
|Length||9.5 ft (2.9 m)|
|Width||12.75 in (0.324 m)|
|Warhead||HE shaped charge|
|Warhead weight||100 lb (45 kg)|
|Engine||Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System pump-jet|
|15 km (9.3 mi) |
|Maximum depth||> 1,900 ft (580 m)|
|Speed||> 40 kn (46 mph)|
|Active or passive/active Acoustic homing |
|Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, ASW Aircraft (P-3 Orion. P-8 Poseidon), RUM-139 VL-ASROC|
The Mark 50 torpedo is a U.S. Navy advanced lightweight torpedo for use against fast, deep-diving submarines. The Mk-50 can be launched from all anti-submarine aircraft and from torpedo tubes aboard surface combatant ships. The Mk-50 was intended to replace the Mk-46 as the fleet's lightweight torpedo. Instead the Mark 46 will be replaced with the Mark 54 LHT.
The torpedo's Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System uses a small tank of sulfur hexafluoride gas which is sprayed over a block of solid lithium, which generates enormous quantities of heat, in turn used to generate steam. The steam propels the torpedo in a closed Rankine cycle, supplying power to a pump-jet. This propulsion system offers the very important deep water performance advantage in that the combustion products, sulfur and lithium fluoride occupy less volume than the reactants, which means the torpedo does not have to force these out against increasing water pressure as it approaches a deep-diving submarine.
General characteristics, Mk-50
- Primary function: air and ship-launched lightweight torpedo
- Contractor: Alliant Techsystems, Westinghouse
- Length: 9.5 ft (2.9 m)
- Weight: approx. 800 lb (360 kg)
- Diameter: 12.75 in (0.324 m)
- Speed: > 40 kn (46 mph)
- Power Plant: Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System
- Propulsion: Pump Jet
- Guidance system: Active/passive acoustic homing
- Warhead: 100 lb (45 kg) high explosive 
- Thomas, Vincent C. The Almanac of Seapower 1987 Navy League of the United States (1987) ISBN 0-9610724-8-2 p.190
- "Mark 50". Deagel.com. Deagel.com, 2012. Accessed 5 Dec 2012.
- "U.S. Navy Fact File: Mk-50 Torpedo". The U.S. Navy--Fact File. Department of the Navy, 27 Nov 2012. Accessed 4 Dec 2012.
- "Ticonderoga Class Aegis Guided Missile Cruisers, United States of America." Naval-technology.com. Net Resources International, 2012. Accessed 5 Dec 2012.
- Hughes, T.G.; Smith, R.B. and Kiely, D.H. (1983). "Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System for Underwater Applications". Journal of Energy 7 (2): 128–133. doi:10.2514/3.62644.
- MK-50 Advanced Lightweight Torpedo via FAS
- USA Torpedoes since World War II - navweaps.com
- Issues Related to the Navy's Mark-50 Torpedo Propulsion System, General Accounting Office, January 1989 - has diagrams showing internal general arrangement, retrieved December 18, 2012