U.S. Navy’s Hammerhead Program Seeks to Develop ‘Moored-Torpedo Variant Mine System’

The U.S. Navy has issued a presolicitation notice for the Hammerhead Program to develop a moored-torpedo variant mine system that can engage enemy submarines.

The Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) issued the presolicitation notice on the federal contracting website, beta.sam.gov, on March 2. “The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) intends to issue a solicitation, N00024-20-R-6405, for the award of the design, development, and production of the Hammerhead”, said the notice.

The Hammerhead program is seeking to develop a moored-torpedo variant mine system for intermediate to deep depths that has the capability to detect, classify, and defeat Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) targets. The effector is a Mark 54 lightweight torpedo which is released to acquire and engage ASW targets.

Concept of a moored mine equipped with a torpedo. (Source: Internet).

The conceptual physical configuration of the system consists of a capsule module (to include the effector); a mooring module; an energy module; a sensor module; a command, control, signal processing and decision module; and a communications module; as well as associated support facilities and equipment and shipping containers.

The system is conceptually designed to be organic and modular; minimum modular components include the capsule module, energy module, mooring module, and the effector. The effector, an MK 54 lightweight torpedo, is a non-developmental item that the Hammerhead program will integrate with the rest of the mine system to provide the required capability.

GULF OF OMAN (April 16, 2014) An exercise MK 54 Mod 0 Torpedo is launched from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)

Hammerhead will be deployed by an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) to provide overt or clandestine standoff delivery of multiple mines.

“Due to the nature of this requirement, the prospective offeror will need to demonstrate the required level of technical expertise, as well as the ability to fulfill the requirements described in the notice”, added the notice.

NAVSEA’s Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants (PEO USC) (Mine Warfare Program Office (PMS 495)) is planning to host an Industry Day to discuss the requirements for the development of the Hammerhead on March 23.

The solicitation release will be issued via beta.sam.gov and a final Request for Proposal (RFP) is anticipated to be released in the fiscal year 2020.

Mark 60 CAPTOR

The Hammerhead concept looks similar to the Mark 60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) system earlier used by the U.S. Navy. It uses a Mark 46 lightweight ASW torpedo contained in an aluminum shell that is anchored to the ocean floor.

The system can be placed by either aircraft, submarine or surface vessel and, once placed, can last anywhere from weeks to months underwater. Once a target identified, the torpedo leaves its casing to destroy its target.

A Mark 60 CAPTOR (encapsulated torpedo) anti-submarine mine. Photo by Staff Sgt. Russ Pollanen.

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