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|Black Shark Torpedo|
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Manufacturer||Whitehead Div., Alenia Difesa|
|Diameter||21 in (533 mm)|
|Effective range||50 km|
|Warhead||high explosive STANAG 4439 and MURAT-2 compliant|
|Engine||contra-rotating direct-drive brushless motor
The Black Shark is a type of heavyweight torpedo recently developed by Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS) and is most closely associated with the French Scorpene submarines as well as being deployed on some 209 class submarines.
Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei Italy, needed a more recent offering in the heavyweight torpedo market given that Atlas Elektronik, Germany had developed the DM2A4 Heavyweight Torpedo (export designation SeaHake mod4) for deployment on the new Type 212N Submarines of the German Navy. Furthermore the A184 system was an aging system that WASS considered as uncompetitive on the growing heavyweight torpedo export market, that of late has seen expansion with the sale of both the Scorpene and the U 209/210/212 submarines around the world, Greece, Portugal, Chile, Malaysia and India, being some of the latest. The A184 system has long been deployed by the Italian Navy with the mod3 design remaining as its standard Heavyweight Torpedo. While a capable system, WASS sought to attain advances in fibre optics and the continual improvement to electronics in developing the Black Shark thus creating a more competitive design in comparison to recent market entries. The resulting work produced a heavyweight torpedo system with advanced ECCM abilities and an advanced sonar. The advancements in electric motor design and battery allowed an increase in both range and speed.
The Black Shark torpedo offers fibre optic wire for increased bandwidth and signal processing ability compared to copper wire guided torpedo types. The sonar capability include non-doppler shifted target discrimination and multi-frequency capability that features advanced spacial and angular analysis abilities. The design goal for the torpedo was 300% improvement of passive acquisition and 200% active acquisition with its sonar system. The brushless motor design coupled with the aluminum-silver oxide (Al-AgO) battery gives the system a top speed 50+ knot, and a range of 50 km, performance envelope. Like all other battery powered HWTs, the battery power system does not suffer the loss of performance of Otto fuel II types at greater depths since there is no exhaust to deal with at greater pressures. The result is a 150% improvement in speed and 200% in torpedo endurance.
The French defense company DCNS and WASS announced that they won't develop the F21 heavyweight torpedo system together anymore which has an expected delivery in 2015. DCNS has now chosen Atlas Elektronik as partner. As of 08/31/2011 DCNS is still announcing that the Black Sharks aluminium silver-oxyde primary battery (Ag-OAl) technology is still being used as the propulsion platform. The planned release date will be in the 2016 time frame.
- "Submarine Orders Are a Boon for Torpedo Market". Aviationweek.com. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- "A184/Black Shark (Italy) - Jane's Naval Weapon Systems". Articles.janes.com. 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
- "Black Shark torpedo derivative to arm French nuclear submarines - Frontier India - News, Analysis, Opinion". Frontier India. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2011-05-29.