Manufacturer: Alliant Techsystems, Westinghouse
Propulsion: Stored chemical energy propulsion system; pump-jet
Speed: 40 knots
Guidance System: Active/passive acoustic homing
Warhead: Approx. 100 pounds conventional
The MK 50 torpedo is a highly capable undersea weapon for U.S. Navy surface ships and aircraft. Developed to replace the MK 46 torpedo, it was first authorized for Fleet use in October 1992. The MK 50 is designed to counter the fast, deep-diving, double-hulled nuclear submarine threat. Relative to the MK 46, the MK50 has increased range, more sophisticated counter-countermeasure logic, and greater lethality, speed, depth, and endurance.
Major technological advances include a Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System (SCEPS). Another significant advantage is that the weapon’s tactics and signal processing are software driven. A MK 50 software block upgrade program was conducted in the mid-1990s to enhance the MK 50’s shallow water performance.