The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of 29 All Up Round MK 54 LWT Mod 0 Lightweight torpedoes to Belgium for an estimated cost of $33.3 million.
The sale is being executed through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 9.
The Government of Belgium requests to buy 29 All Up Round MK 54 LWT Mod 0. Also included are two (2) Fleet Exercise Section conversion kits, torpedo support equipment, training and publications, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The principal contractor will be Raytheon Integrated Defense System, Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
According to a DSCA statement, this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.
The Belgian Navy is phasing out its inventory of MK 46 torpedoes. The MK 54 will give them the ability to engage submarines from its fleet of NH-90 helicopters and the new generation of Multi-Mission Frigates.
Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedo
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 program leverages the most modern torpedo technologies from the U.S. Navy’s MK 50 and MK 48 ADCAP (advanced capability) programs. It also utilizes the proven MK 46 warhead and propulsion subsystems. The result is a low-cost weapon that meets all performance requirements for littoral warfare.