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Mk 46 Torpedo

The Mk 46 is a lightweight torpedo featuring a conventional layout with the homing section and warhead in the nose, the fuel in the middle and the engine and control fins at the rear. It uses a passive and active sonar guidance system. The torpedo can be launched from many surface vessels, as well as various helicopters such as the SH-60 Seahawk. The Mk 46 is the most common lightweight torpedo in the world.
Mk 46 Torpedo Copyright © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker, U.S. Navy

Status

In active service

Contractors

Primary contractor: Honeywell
Manufacturer (Mod 0): Aerojet

Timeline

1960 - Development began
1963 - Mk 46 Mod 0 entered service
1968 - Field date of Mk 46 Mod 1 phase 1 upgrade
1971 - Field date of Mk 46 Mod 1 phase 2 upgrade
1972 - Mk 46 Mod 2 field date
1973 - Mk 46 Mod 4 field date
1979 - Mk 46 Mod 5 NEARTIP field date
1996 - Mk 46 Mod 5A field date

Mod 0

The Mk 46 Mod 0 is the original production version equipped with an unreliable solid fuel turbine motor.

Characteristics

Dimensions
Length: 2.59 meters 8.5 feet
Diameter: 324 millimeters 12.75 inches
Weight
Weight: 259 kilograms 714 pounds
Warhead weight: 45 kilograms 100 pounds
Features
Speed: 35 knots (64.8 kilometers per hour) (40.3 miles per hour)
Range: 7.5 kilometers 4.66 miles
Homing range: 460 meters 1 510 feet
Minimum depth: 15 meters 49.2 feet
Maximum depth: 350 meters 1 150 feet
Miscellaneous
Propulsion: Twin propeller
Guidance: Active/passive acoustic seeker
Power supply: Solid fuel turbine motor
Warhead: Mk 103 Mod 0 warhead with PBX filling

Mod 1

The Mk 46 Mod 1 is an extensively upgraded Mod 0 with original engine replaced by an Otto fuel engine. The phase 1 upgrade included a stronger hull that increased maximum operating depth. The phase 2 upgrade allowed the homing system to detect submarines near the surface.

Characteristics

Dimensions
Length: 2.59 meters 8.5 feet
Diameter: 324 millimeters 12.75 inches
Weight
Weight: 232 kilograms 511.5 pounds
Warhead weight: 45 kilograms 100 pounds
Features
Speed: 40 knots (74 kilometers per hour) (46 miles per hour)
Range: 8.3 kilometers 5.16 miles
Homing range: 460 meters 1 510 feet
Minimum depth: 15 meters 49.2 feet
Maximum depth: 450 meters 1 476 feet
Miscellaneous
Propulsion: Twin propeller
Guidance: Active/passive acoustic seeker
Power supply: Monopropellant Otto fuel engine
Warhead: Mk 103 Mod 0 warhead with PBX filling

Mod 2

The Mk 46 Mod 2 is a Mod 1 phase 2 torpedo equipped with a more powerful Mk 103 Mod 1 warhead and improved computer with snake search pattern capability.

Mod 4

The Mk 46 Mod 4 serves as payload for the CAPTOR anti-submarine mine.

Mod 5

The Mk 46 Mod 5 is an upgrade kit for the Mod 2 torpedo utilizing new passive/active sonar, liquid fuel and a two speed engine for low speed search and high speed attack. NEARTIP stands for Near Term Improvement Program.

Characteristics

Dimensions
Length: 2.59 meters 8.5 feet
Diameter: 324 millimeters 12.75 inches
Weight
Weight: 234.8 kilograms 517.6 pounds
Warhead weight: 45 kilograms 100 pounds
Features
Speed: 40 knots (74 kilometers per hour) (46 miles per hour)
Range: 11 kilometers 6.84 miles
Minimum depth: 15 meters 49.2 feet
Maximum depth: 450 meters 1 476 feet
Miscellaneous
Propulsion: Twin propeller
Guidance: Active/passive acoustic seeker
Power supply: Liquid propellant Otto fuel engine
Warhead: Mk 103 Mod 1 warhead with PBXN filling

Mod 5A

The Mk 46 Mod 5A is a cheaper NEARTIP upgrade kit for Mod 1 or Mod 2 torpedoes. This version was developed specifically for use in shallow water.

Mod 6

The Mk 46 Mod 6 is a CAPTOR version of the torpedo that uses some NEARTIP components.