MK-44 Torpedo


   The story of DASH would be incomplete, without the story of the weapon DASH carried, that being the MK-44 Torpedo. Make sure to Visit the GHHF Torpedo Shop!

    While DASH was qualified to carry either a single MK-46 Mod 0 or two Mk-44 Mod 0 torpedoes on a ASW mission, the Mark 44 was the chief weapon DASH used as the MK-44 was the more widely deployed torpedo at the time DASH operated (1960 to 1970) with the U.S. Naval fleet.

    The MK-44 torpedo was an active homing torpedo that used a salt water-activated electric battery. DASH used the MK-44 Mod 0 model torpedo with its MK-8, Mod 4 bomb shackle (also known as the bomb release unit (BRU)) and MK 64 Suspension Bands with the MK 24 MOD 2 air stabilizer.

    Once the torpedo hit the water, usually at a 100 ft. altitude and not more than 20 knot forward airspeed for DASH, the torpedo began a spiral search pattern for target acquisition. The MK-44 used the Mk-101 Warhead which contained 75 lbs of HBX-3 high explosive. HBX-3, by today's standards, was considered volatile. The Mk-44/MK-101 combination was the conventional payload for ship-based ASROC (anti-submarine rocket) system during the early 60's with phase in of the MK-46 torpedo for that role by late 1967. The MK-44 was eventually withdrawn from U.S. Naval use in 1990.

 

A QH-50D launches from the USS McKEAN (DD-784) on a ASW mission on October 5, 1966. This picture shows the "single" installation of the MK-44 Torpedo. The McKEAN was a GEARING class destroyer that served until October 1, 1981 when it was stricken from the Naval register and subsequently sold to Turkey on November 2, 1982 where it was cannibalized for spare parts to support other GEARING class destroyers Turkey had already acquired.

 

MK-44 Torpedo Specifications

Guidance Active Sonar
Weight 432 Lbs
Length 8.2 Feet
Range 3.4 Miles
Speed 30 Knots Actual
Search/attack depth settings Minimum 50 yards
Maximum 1000 yards
Weapon acquisition range 1000 yards
Run characteristics 6 minutes all circular
Used as a ASROC -  Min/Max launching ranges 1200 to 6000 yards
Propulsion electric battery
Warhead 75 lbs HE

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