The Navy is contracting Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. for maintenance work on its arsenal of Mk48 heavyweight torpedoes. The $17,9 million cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only contract
provides the commanders of the US Atlantic and Pacific fleet’s submarine force with approximately 56,160 man-hours per year to operate the progressive depot-level repair facility and provide depot-level repairable management functions for Mk 48 readiness. The Mk-48
is a huge 19 feet long, 3,500 lb. heavy torpedo with advanced homing, wire guidance capabilities, and devastating consequences when its 600 lb. warhead hits a target. It is designed to kill both fast, deep-diving nuclear submarines and high-performance surface ships, and is carried by US Navy and Royal Australian Navy submarines. These torpedoes can operate with or without wire guidance, and can use active and/or passive homing, and can conduct multiple re-attacks if they miss the target. Cost estimates for this weapon are around $2 million each, rising to almost $3 million in some cases with upgrades factored in. This Work will be performed in Yorktown, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by September, 2018.
The Mk-48 is the standard heavyweight torpedo used by the US military, and is mounted primarily on submarines. Surface ships use the smaller Mk46 or Mk50. The Mk-54, in contrast, stemmed from the need for a smaller, lighter, and cost effective advanced torpedo – one that could be dropped from helicopters, planes, and smaller ships. In recent years, the US has moved to modernize and maintain its Mk-48 inventory; the Mk-54 also requires servicing and spares.
Many of these contracts were issued under a total enterprise partnership between Raytheon and the US Navy called Team Torpedo, dedicated to meeting the needs of U.S. and allied naval fleets. Team Torpedo combines Raytheon’s manufacturing, design engineering, and support services expertise with the systems engineering and testing capabilities of Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) operations in Newport, RI, and Keyport, WA. Now, a new provider has entered the picture. DID has the complete set of contracts below… plus more details regarding the torpedoes involved, and the answer to the question “what the heck is CBASS standard”?