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United States agrees the sale of MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes to Brazil


According to information pûblished by the U.S. Department of Defense on December 1, 2020, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Brazil of MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes and related equipment for an estimated cost of $70 million.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 An exercise Mark 54 Mod 0 torpedo is launched from the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt DDG-80. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


The Government of Brazil has requested to buy twenty-two (22) MK 54 conversion kits - to convert MK 46 Mod 5 A(S) torpedoes to MK 54 Mod 0 lightweight torpedoes. Also included are torpedo containers, Recoverable Exercise Torpedoes (REXTORP) with containers, Fleet Exercise Section (FES) and fuel tanks, air-launch accessories for rotary-wing, torpedo spare parts, propellant, lanyard start assembly suspensions bands, thermal batteries, 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 total estimated value is $70 million.

The Government of Brazil intends to utilize MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes on its Sikorsky S-70B “Seahawk” aircraft and surface ships. The principal contractor will be Raytheon Integrated Defense System, Portsmouth, RI. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The Mark 54 is a standard 12.75-inch (324 mm) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo 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 54 can be deployed from a surface ship, helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft to track, classify and attack underwater targets. It uses sophisticated processing algorithms to analyze the information, edit out false targets or countermeasures, and then pursue identified threats.

The MK 54 Lightweight Torpedo has a weight of 276 kg, a length of 2.72 m, and has an operational range of 10 km. She has a 43.9 kg PBXN-103 warhead. The PBXN-103 is designed for underwater use or other low oxygen environments. It contains a large amount of ammonium perchlorate and aluminum to provide a high combustion temperature. The PBXN-103 explosive also contains high quantities of plasticizer relative to the PNC binder. The PBXN-103 is a low brisance explosive, having a relatively low detonation velocity of about 6000 m/s.