Black Shark torpedo

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Black Shark Torpedo
Type Heavyweight torpedo
Place of origin Italy
Service history
In service 2004–present
Production history
Manufacturer WASS
Length 6.3 m (21 ft)
Diameter 533 mm (21.0 in)

Effective firing range 50 km (27 nmi)
Warhead high explosive STANAG 4439 and MURAT-2 compliant
Warhead weight Classified

Engine contra-rotating direct-drive brushless motor
Propellant Al-AgO battery
Speed 50 kt

The Black Shark is a heavyweight torpedo developed by WASS of Italy. It is most closely associated with the Scorpène diesel-electric submarines produced by France for the export market, but is also found in the Type 209 submarines.


Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei Italy, needed a more recent offering in the heavyweight torpedo market given that Atlas Elektronik, Germany had developed the DM2A4 Heavyweight Torpedo (export designation SeaHake mod4) for deployment on the new Type 212N Submarines of the German Navy.

Furthermore the A184 system was an aging system that WASS considered as uncompetitive on the growing heavyweight torpedo export market, that of late has seen expansion with the sale of both the Scorpene and the U 209/210/212 submarines around the world, Greece, Portugal, Chile, Malaysia and India, being some of the latest.[1] The A184 system has long been deployed by the Italian Navy with the mod3 design remaining as its standard Heavyweight Torpedo.[2] While a capable system, WASS sought to attain advances in fibre optics and the continual improvement to electronics in developing the Black Shark thus creating a more competitive design in comparison to recent market entries.[2] The resulting work produced a heavyweight torpedo system with advanced ECCM abilities and an advanced sonar. The advancements in electric motor design and battery allowed an increase in both range and speed.[1]


The Black Shark torpedo offers fibre optic wire for increased bandwidth and signal processing ability compared to copper wire guided torpedo types. The sonar capability include non-doppler shifted target discrimination and multi-frequency capability that features advanced spatial and angular analysis abilities.[3] The design goal for the torpedo was 300% improvement of passive acquisition and 200% active acquisition with its sonar system.[4] The brushless motor design coupled with the aluminum-silver oxide (Al-AgO) battery gives the system a top speed 50+ knot, and a range of 50 km, performance envelope.[1] Like all other battery powered HWTs, the battery power system does not suffer the loss of performance of Otto fuel II types at greater depths since there is no exhaust to deal with at greater pressures. The result is a 150% improvement in speed and 200% in torpedo endurance.[4]

France F21 Development[edit]

In 2008 France signed a development contract for 93 heavy torpedoes for its nuclear submarines, to be delivered from 2015.[5] The F21 has since been developed as a purely French product, by DCNS.

NSP/BSA - Nuovo Siluro Pesante / Black Shark Advanced[edit]

Meanwhile, in Italy, WASS is developing NSP / BSA (Nuovo Siluro Pesante / Black Shark Advanced), new future torpedo for Marina Militare Italiana as result of government program A/R SMD 1/2010 [6] for development new BSA torpedoes for Euro 87,5 Millions, within 2020:

  • 12.02.2014 first test launch new NSP / BSA (Nuovo Siluro Pesante / Black Shark Advanced) by SSK Scirè [7]
  • 19.06.2014 second test launch new NSP / BSA (Nuovo Siluro Pesante / Black Shark Advanced) by SSK Scirè [8]

BSA will arm Marina Militare Italiana Todaro class submarines, with about 80 torpedoes expected.

NSP/BSA - Nuovo Siluro Pesante / Black Shark Advanced will be on board new Italian Navy PPA vessels (Full version), with two launchers under the flight deck. Warhead weight = 350/400 kg.


 Chilean Navy

 Ecuadorian Navy

 Marina Militare

 Royal Malaysian Navy

 Portuguese Navy

 Republic of Singapore Navy

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Submarine Orders Are a Boon for Torpedo Market". Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2011-05-28. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2011-05-28. 
  4. ^ a b "A184/Black Shark (Italy) - Jane's Naval Weapon Systems". 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  5. ^ "Projet de loi de finances pour 2013 : Défense : équipement des forces" (in French). Senate of France. 22 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-07. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-08. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-08. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
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  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
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  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
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External links[edit]