The attack submarine is one of the dangerous naval combatants in the world owing to its stealth and ship-killing torpedoes. But limited range has long been the torpedo’s major drawback. Unlike a missile which travels through the thin atmosphere, a torpedo must fight harder to reach its target.
As a result, navies spend billions of dollars finding ways to prevent hunter-killers from getting close to their valuable surface ships. And to give their own submarines a better shot, they find ways to add range.
Now the U.S. Navy is researching how to significantly boost the range of its torpedoes starting with the Mark 48, according to an August request for information from the Office of Naval Research. If successful, America’s subs could get a lot more lethal.