Mark 16 torpedo


Mark 16 torpedo
Mark 16 torpedo diagram.jpg
Mark 16 torpedo
TypeAnti-surface ship torpedo[1]
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1943–1975[1]
Used byUnited States Navy
WarsWorld War II
Production history
DesignerNaval Torpedo Station[1]
Naval Research Laboratory
ManufacturerNaval Torpedo Station[1]
Naval Ordnance Station Forest Park
Produced1943 – post-World War II[1]
No. built> 1,700[1]
  • 3,895 pounds (1,770 kg) mod 0
  • 3,922 pounds (1,780 kg) mod 1
  • 4,155 pounds (1,880 kg) mod 8[1]
Length246 inches (6.2 m)[1]
Diameter21 inches (533 mm)[1]

Effective firing range
  • 7,000 yards (6,400 m) Mod 0
  • 11,000 yards (10,060 m) to 12,500 yards (11,430 m) Mod 1-8 [1]
Warhead weight1,260 pounds (570 kg) on Mod 0 and 8[1] 746 pounds (338 kg) on Mod 1[1]
Mk 9 Mod 4 contact/influence exploder[1]

Propellant"Navol", concentrated hydrogen peroxide[1]
Maximum speed 46.2 knots (85.6 km/h; 53.2 mph)[1]

The Mark 16 torpedo was a redesign of the United States Navy's standard Mark 14 torpedo in use during World War II. It incorporated war-tested improvements into a weapon designed to be used in unmodified United States fleet submarines. Due to high unit cost and the Mark 14's unreliability issues being solved by mid-1943, they were never put into mass production.

Following WWII, limited numbers of the weapon were produced. The weapon was considered the United States' standard anti-shipping torpedo for twenty years;[2] despite significant numbers of Mark 14 torpedoes left over from wartime production. This hydrogen peroxide propelled, 21-inch (53 cm) torpedo was 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 m) long and weighed 2.0 short tons (1,800 kg).[2]

The Mod 0 warhead contained 1,260 pounds (570 kg) of Torpex (TPX) explosive and at the time was the most powerful conventional submarine torpedo warhead in the world. The TPX explosive in use by the US Navy during WWII was about 75% more powerful by weight (7,405 J/g) than the Japanese Type 95 and Type 97 torpedo explosives (4,370 J/g). As a result, it was even more powerful than the late war "Mod.3" variant of the Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedo; which used 780 kg of the Type 97 explosive, despite the warhead weighing 210 kg less.

The Mod 1 Variant of the Mk 16 only contained 960 pounds (440 kg) of TPX explosive but could run around 4,500 yards longer as a result.[2] The torpedo could be set for both straight or patterned running.[2] After World War II, the Mod 0 and Mod 1 variants were developed into a common torpedo. Designed to keep the longer range from Mod 1 and larger warhead of Mod 0, this upgrade was called the Mark 16 Mod 8 and incorporated a 1,260 pound HBX (7,552 J/g) warhead in the place of the TPX. This weapon was used as the US Navy's main anti-ship torpedo until it was phased out in 1972, at which point both the Mark 16 and Mark 37 ASW torpedoes had been fully replaced by the dual-purpose Mark 48 in 1975.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Torpedo History: Torpedo Mk16". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Kurak, September 1966, p.144
  3. ^ "VII. STILLWATER, SEPTEMBER 19–OCTOBER 6, 1777", Horatio Gates, New York Chichester, West Sussex: Columbia University Press, pp. 144–163, 31 December 1966, ISBN 978-0-231-88387-0, retrieved 10 March 2021


  • Naval Weapons web site:
  • "Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell
  • "Japanese Cruisers of the Pacific War" by Eric Lacroix and Linton Wells II
  • Kurak, Steve (September 1966). "The U. S. Navy's Torpedo Inventory". United States Naval Institute Proceedings. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)