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Mark 50 Advanced Lightweight Torpedo
US Navy 040626-N-5319A-006 An Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) MK-50 Torpedo is launched from guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) .jpg
Mark 50 torpedo being fired
Type Torpedo
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by  United States Navy
Production history
Designer Honeywell[1]
Designed 1974
Manufacturer Alliant Techsystems
Produced 1991-
Number built 1000[2]
Weight approx. 800 lb (360 kg)[3]
Length 9.5 ft (2.9 m)[3]
Width 12.75 in (0.324 m)[3]

Warhead HE shaped charge[1]
Warhead weight 100 lb (45 kg)[1][3]

Engine Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System pump-jet
15 km (9.3 mi) [4]
Maximum depth > 1,900 ft (580 m)
Speed > 40 kn (46 mph)[1][3]
Active or passive/active Acoustic homing [3]
Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, ASW Aircraft (P-3 Orion. P-8 Poseidon), RUM-139 VL-ASROC

The Mark 50 torpedo is a U.S. Navy advanced lightweight torpedo for use against fast, deep-diving submarines. The Mk-50 can be launched from all anti-submarine aircraft and from torpedo tubes aboard surface combatant ships. The Mk-50 was intended to replace the Mk-46 as the fleet's lightweight torpedo.[1] Instead the Mark 46 will be replaced with the Mark 54 LHT.

The torpedo's Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System uses a small tank of sulfur hexafluoride gas which is sprayed over a block of solid lithium, which generates enormous quantities of heat, in turn used to generate steam. The steam propels the torpedo in a closed Rankine cycle,[5] supplying power to a pump-jet. This propulsion system offers the very important deep water performance advantage in that the combustion products, sulfur and lithium fluoride occupy less volume than the reactants, which means the torpedo does not have to force these out against increasing water pressure as it approaches a deep-diving submarine.

General characteristics, Mk-50

File:Propulsor MK50.jpg

Mark 50 propulsor.

  • Primary function: air and ship-launched lightweight torpedo[1][3]
  • Contractor: Alliant Techsystems, Westinghouse[3]
  • Length: 9.5 ft (2.9 m)[3]
  • Weight: approx. 800 lb (360 kg)[3]
  • Diameter: 12.75 in (0.324 m)[3]
  • Speed: > 40 kn (46 mph)[3]
  • Power Plant: Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System[1]
  • Propulsion: Pump Jet
  • Guidance system: Active/passive acoustic homing[1][3]
  • Warhead: 100 lb (45 kg) high explosive (shaped charge)[1][3]

Comparable Weapons


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Thomas, Vincent C. The Almanac of Seapower 1987 Navy League of the United States (1987) ISBN 0-9610724-8-2 p.190
  2. "Mark 50"., 2012. Accessed 5 Dec 2012.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 "U.S. Navy Fact File: Mk-50 Torpedo". The U.S. Navy--Fact File. Department of the Navy, 27 Nov 2012. Accessed 4 Dec 2012.
  4. "Ticonderoga Class Aegis Guided Missile Cruisers, United States of America." Net Resources International, 2012. Accessed 5 Dec 2012.
  5. Hughes, T.G.; Smith, R.B. and Kiely, D.H. (1983). "Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion System for Underwater Applications". pp. 128–133. Digital object identifier:10.2514/3.62644. 


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