On 12 May 2014, the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey for MK 48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology All-Up-Round (AUR) Warshot torpedoes and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $170 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.
The Government of Turkey has requested a possible sale of up to 48 MK 48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology All-Up-Round (AUR) Warshot Torpedoes, containers, fleet exercise sections, exercise fuel tanks, surface recovery cage and tools, exercise hardware, maintenance facility upgrades, support and test equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The total estimated cost is $170 million.
The Republic of Turkey is a partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in the region. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability that will contribute to an acceptable military balance in the area. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.
The proposed sale will improve Turkey’s capability for self defense, modernization, regional security, and interoperability with U.S. and other NATO members. Turkey will use the enhanced capability of the MK 48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology torpedoes on the new CERBE Class submarines (214 Type 1200). Turkey has significant experience in maintaining and supporting advanced torpedoes, particularly MK 46 Mod 5A(S)W and MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes (LWT), and has capable infrastructure that will require minimal updates. Turkey is capable of integrating, employing, and maintaining the MK 48 Mod 6AT Torpedo.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be Raytheon Company Integrated Defense Systems in Keyport, Washington; and Lockheed Martin Sippican in Marion, Massachusetts. There are no known offset agreements associated in connection with this proposed sale
The above notification is hardly surprising. When the selection of Cerbe Class (214 Type 1200) AIP submarines was made back in 2009, the Mk 48 torpedoes were announced as their primary weapon. The selection of US made torpedoes over German torpedoes was not expected as Turkish Navy already uses German torpedoes in its German designed submarines: Atılay class (209 Type 1200), Preveze class (209 Type 1400) and Gür class (209 Type 1200 Mod).
The technical parameters of the German torpedoes are by default configured in the the fire control software developed by another German company Atlas Elektronik. This is why in Turkish Type 209 submarines German torpedoes are used as standard weapon.
According to media reports HDW demanded a very high sum for the integration of Mk-48 torpedoes in to Type 214. This is typical HDW. When Greece wanted to have Italian Blackshark torpedoes for their Type 214 submarines, the money HDW demanded for the integration was so high that Greece decided to use German torpedoes instead. Therefore, Turkey selected Atlas Elektronik instead of HDW as the main contractor for the integration of Mk-48 torpedoes into the Atlas Elektronik’s ISUS command and control software.
Turkish company Havelsan, acting as sub contractor for Atlas Elektronik, will develop the plug in software to integrate the USA made torpedoes to German made fire control software.
But the Cerbe class submarines are not the only platform for the US torpedoes. Two of the six Atılay class (209 Type 1200) submarines are also getting the software upgrade to fire and control the MK 48 torpedo.