Aerojet Rocketdyne announced on 12 June it has received a $2.6 million Phase 1 contract from the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop an advanced torpedo propulsion system.

The primary goal of ONR’s Torpedo Advanced Propulsion System (TAPS) programme is to improve the engine efficiency of the US Navy’s MK48 heavyweight torpedo. “Aerojet Rocketdyne began developing torpedo propulsion systems in the early 1950s. […] We will carry this legacy forward as we develop the technologies needed to enhance the capability of the MK48, which is used by the US Navy on all classes of submarines as their most capable anti-submarine and anti-surface weapon,” commented Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President, Eileen Drake.

Phase I of the TAPS programme, which could last up to 24 months with options, will explore increasing the efficiency of the Otto-fueled engine that currently powers the MK48. If awarded, Phase II will include integrated full-scale system testing in a MK48 propulsion section.


Improving the engine efficiency of the MK48 heavyweight torpedo would do much to enhance USN combat capabilities. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

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