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German Navy Boeing P-8 Poseidons to be armed with Raytheon Mk 54 torpedoes.

| 2023

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on December 7 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Germany of Mk 54 Lightweight Torpedoes and related equipment for an estimated cost of $300 million.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedo (formerly known as Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo, or LHT) is a standard 12.75-inch (324 mm) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo (Picture source: Wikipedia)

The Government of Germany has requested to buy up to eighty (80) Mk 54 All Up Round Lightweight Torpedoes (LWT). Also included are Mk 54 Mod 0 LWT spare parts; Recoverable Exercise Torpedoes (REXTORPs) with containers; handling shapes and containers; torpedo spare parts; tools for mounting and dismounting of Air Launch Accessories (ALAs); equipment for analysis of REXTORP exercise shots; REXTORP maintenance equipment; training; publications; support and test equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated total program cost is $300 million.

The proposed sale will improve Germany’s capability to meet current and future threats by upgrading Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities on its Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The principal contractor will be Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Portsmouth, RI. Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Germany; however, U.S. Government Engineering and Technical Services may be required on an interim basis for training and technical assistance.

The Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedo (formerly known as Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo, or LHT) is a standard 12.75-inch (324 mm) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo. The Mark 54 was co-developed by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and the U.S. Navy under the U.S. Navy's Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo program in response to perceived problems with the extant Mark 50 and Mark 46 torpedoes. The Mk 50, having been developed to counter very high-performance nuclear submarines such as the Soviet Alfa class, was seen as too expensive to use against relatively slow conventional submarines. The older Mk 46, designed for open-ocean use, performed poorly in the littoral areas, where the Navy envisioned itself likely to operate in the future.

The Mk 54 can be fired from surface ships via the Mark 32 surface vessel torpedo tubes or the vertical launch anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) systems, and also from most ASW aircraft, although they are slightly different lengths and weights. The P-8 Poseidon uses the High-Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapons Capability (HAAWC) GPS-guided parachute kit to drop torpedoes from high altitudes.

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