Mark 46 torpedo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mark 46 torpedo
MK46 torpedo launch.jpg
A Mk 46 exercise torpedo launched from USS Mustin.
Type Lightweight antisubmarine torpedo[1]
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service • Mod 0: 1963[1]
• Mod 5: 1979
Used by See operators
Production history
Designer Naval Ordnance Test Station Pasadena[1]
Alliant Techsystems
Designed 1960[1]
Manufacturer Aerojet[1]
Naval Ordnance Station Forest Park
Variants Mod 0[1]
Mod 1
Mod 2
Mod 5
Mod 5A
Mod 5A(S)
Mod 5A(SW)[2]
Weight 508 lb (230.4 kg)
Lengthftin (2.6 m)
Diameter 12.75 in (323.8 mm)

Warhead PBXN-103 high explosive (bulk charge)
Warhead weight 96.8 lb (43.9 kg)

Engine Two-speed, reciprocating external combustion
Propellant Otto fuel II
12,000 yd (10,972.8 m)
Maximum depth >1,200 ft (365.8 m)
Speed >40 kn (74.1 km/h; 46.0 mph)
Active or passive/active Acoustic homing
Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, ASW Aircraft, RUM-139 VL-ASROC
A Mark 46 Mod 5A torpedo is inspected aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Mustin.
A French Lynx. helicopter carrying a Mk 46 torpedo.

The Mark 46 torpedo is the backbone of the United States Navy's lightweight anti-submarine warfare torpedo inventory, and is the current NATO standard. These aerial torpedoes are designed to attack high-performance submarines, and current, since September 1996,[3] variants, such as the Mark 46 Mod 5, were expected to remain in service until 2015. In 1989, a major upgrade program for the Mod 5 began to improve its shallow-water performance, resulting in the Mod 5A and Mod 5A(S).

Design details[edit]

Mark 46, Mod 5
  • Primary Function: Air and ship-launched lightweight torpedo[4]
  • Contractor: Alliant Techsystems
  • Power Plant: Two-speed, reciprocating external combustion; Mono-propellant (Otto fuel II)
  • Length: 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) tube launch configuration (from ship),[5] 14 ft 9 in (4.5 m) with ASROC rocket booster[4]
  • Weight: 508 lb (231 kg)[4] (warshot configuration)
  • Diameter: 12.75 in (324 mm)[5]
  • Range: 12,000 yd (11 km)[4]
  • Depth: > 1,200 ft (365 m)
  • Speed: > 40 knots (46 mph, 74 km/h)[4]
  • Guidance System: Homing mode: Active or passive/active acoustic homing[5]
  • Launch/search mode: Snake or circle search
  • Warhead: 96.8 lb (44 kg)[4] of PBXN-103 high explosive (bulk charge)
  • Date Deployed: 1967 (Mod 0);[4] 1979 (Mod 5)

Yu-7 variant[edit]

The Chinese Yu-7 torpedo is said to be based on the Mk 46 Mod 2.[citation needed] Currently, the Chinese Navy use the Yu-7 ASW torpedo, deployed primarily on ships and ASW helicopters.[6]


Map with former Mark 46 operators in red

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Jolie, E.W. (15 September 1978). "A Brief History of US Navy Torpedo Development: Torpedo Mk46". Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "The US Navy Fact File: Mark 46 Torpedo". 27 November 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "The US Navy". Retrieved August 9, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Thomas, Vincent C. The Almanac of Seapower 1987 Navy League of the United States (1987) ISBN 0-9610724-8-2 pp.190-191
  5. ^ a b c Polmar, Norman "The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet: Torpedoes" United States Naval Institute Proceedings November 1978 p.160
  6. ^ (Chinese language) Archived 2006-11-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Mk 46 torpedo -". 

External links[edit]