Submarines: Turkey Takes To MK-48

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May 23, 2014: Turkey has ordered 48 American MK-48 Mod 6AT torpedoes for their new German designed U-214 class subs. These torpedoes will cost $3.55 million each. Turkey has experience with American torpedoes having used older MK-46s and MK-54s. This means fewer problems maintaining the MK-48s and integrating them into the U-214 fire control system.

The MK-48 entered service in 1971 as the Mod 1 and has been continually upgraded since then. TheMK-48 is a 533mm (21 inch), 1.7 ton weapon with a range of up to 74 kilometers (at 50 kilometers an hour) and a top speed of 102 kilometers an hour (at a range of 38 kilometers). The MK-48 can be controlled from the sub via wire guidance and has onboard sonar to assist in finding targets and avoiding underwater obstacles. There are numerous electronic devices on board to get around countermeasures. The MK-48 has a 295 kg (650 pound) warhead and uses a proximity fuze. Maximum depth is about 800 meters.   The MK-48 is already used by the U.S. Navy as well as Brazil, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.

Since World War II only three submarine launched torpedoes have been used in combat to sink something. Only one was launched by a nuclear sub (a British boat). The other two were launched by Pakistani and North Korean diesel electric subs. No MK-48 has ever been used in combat.

 

 


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