Mk 46 Torpedo

The MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) torpedo is the most advanced lightweight ASW weapon available. It is ideally suited to counter today’s threats and those projected in the near future.

The two-speed MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) features both active and passive sonar with enhanced capabilities for shallow and deep water. With launch accessories, it can be deployed by various means: rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, rocket assisted launch (ASROC), vertical launch ASROC (VLA) and surface vessel torpedo tubes (SVTT).

The advanced technologies built into the MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) are unparalleled when compared to other torpedoes currently available on the international market.

The MK 46 Mod 5A (SW), like its predecessors, is compatible with 20 launch platforms and can be incorporated into any modern navy — without conversion costs. And with shallow-water capabilities, it meets the NATO 40-meter minimum launch depth requirement from all compatible platforms.

Best of all, the MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) is backed by over 25 years of production experience and logistics support service from the U.S. Navy/Raytheon team, ensuring a quick response today and for decades to come.


Acoustic Sensitivity

The MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) has greatly improved acoustic sensitivity to counter both conventional and coated hulls.

Guidance and Control

The MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) features an advanced digital computer control system with built-in logic. Microprocessor technology is used extensively to process and store a predetermined set of tactics, including optimized search and re-attack patterns.

Shallow-Water Operation

In extensive testing with over 100,000 simulations and over 10,000 in-water exercise runs, the U.S. Navy has proved that the MK 46 Mod 5A(SW) performs effectively in shallow water. It has the ability to attack and destroy the fast SSNs as well as the slow, shallow-running, diesel-electric submarines. It also features a launch capability in 40-meter depths from all platforms.

Deep-Water Operation

The MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) provides a deep search capability that optimizes search, attack and re-attack patterns. This enables the MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) to search for and acquire almost all targets — even at their maximum operating depths.

Warhead Lethality

The MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) carries a warhead that is capable of rupturing the hull or causing considerable damage on impact or a near miss. This warhead remains highly effective in both shallow and deep water against the vast majority of current generation submarines.

Mission Endurance

Two-speed propulsion provides greater range and reduces torpedo self-noise, allowing the torpedo to search quietly at low speed and attack at high speed when the target is acquired.


The MK 46 Mod 5A (SW) has consistently performed well above the U.S. Navy performance goal for reliability, making it the most successful torpedo program in U.S. Navy history.

Primary Function Air and ship-launched lightweight torpedo
Contractor Alliant Techsystems
Power Plant Two-speed, reciprocating external combustion;
Mono-propellant (Otto fuel II) fueled
Length 102.36 in. tube launch configuration (from ship)
Weight 517.65 lbs (warshot configuration)
Diameter 12.75 inches
Range Officially “8,000 yards”
Reportedly 11,400 – 12,000 yd. at 45 kt.
Weapon acquisition range 1600 yards
Min/Max ASROC launching ranges 1500 to 12000 yards
Depth Officially “Greater than 1,200 ft (365 meters)”
Reportedly 1,500 ft.
Search/attack depth settings Minimum 20 yards
Maximum 1500 yards
Speed Greater than 28 knots (32.2 mph, 51.52 kph)
Reportedly 45 kt
Actual 45 knots
Run characteristics 6-8 minutes
Guidance System Homing mode – Active or passive/active acoustic homing
Launch/search mode – Snake or circle search
Warhead 98 lbs. of PBXN-103 high explosive (bulk charge)
Date Deployed 1966 (Mod 0); 1979 (Mod 5)