South Korea Cleared to Procure 31 MK-54 Lightweight Torpedoes for its P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 31 MK 54 All Up Round lightweight torpedoes to the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea) for an estimated cost of $72 million.

The sale will be conducted through U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and the torpedoes will be used to arm the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN)’s under-order P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying U.S. Congress of this possible sale on August 27.

The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy thirty-one (31) MK 54 All Up Round lightweight torpedoes. Also included are torpedo containers, Recoverable Exercise Torpedoes (REXTORP) with containers, Fleet Exercise Section (FES) and fuel tanks, air launch accessories for fixed wing, torpedo spare parts, 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 principal contractor of the sale will be Raytheon Integrated Defense System, Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

The Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedo is a standard 12.75 inch (324 mm) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedo used primarily by the U.S. Navy.

The torpedo was co-developed by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and the U.S. Navy under the Navy’s Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo (LHT) program in response to perceived problems with the extant Mark 50 and Mark 46 torpedoes.

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. The P-8 Poseidon uses the High-Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapons Capability (HAAWWC) GPS-guided parachute kit to drop torpedoes from high altitude.

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