The Mk-48 torpedo was designed at the end of the 1960s to keep up with the advances in Soviet submarine technology. Operational since 1972, it replaced the Mk-37 and Mk-14 torpedoes as the principal weapon of U.S. Navy submarines. (

The propulsion system of the MK48 torpedo was based on development and production in Cleveland.  An early in-water competition nicknamed “the Shootout” pitted Westinghouse Corporation against Clevite Corporation of Cleveland.   Taking place in the late 1960s and early 1970s at Cape Canaveral, FL, the Clevite Corporation’s propulsion system design proved to be the better performer of the two designs and was selected as the design of record for the MK48 torpedo.  Soon after, Clevite was acquired by Gould and Gould manufactured the entire torpedo.  (Ordnance Technology Service, Inc.)


GOULD, INC., once a leading defense contractor in the Cleveland area, began doing business in Cleveland in 1945 as Gould Storage Battery. Known as the Gould-National Batteries Co. in 1950, it was located at 4500 Euclid Ave. The company, which had been established in 1918 in Minnesota, was primarily involved in automotive and industrial products until it purchased Cleveland's CLEVITE CORP. in 1969 in order to gain entry into the lucrative high-tech and ordnance markets. Clevite, dominant in the bearings and electronics markets, was a major supplier of ordnance and oceanographic equipment to the U.S. Navy. Renamed Gould, Inc., the firm changed the name of Clevite's Ordnance Division, located at 18901 Euclid, to the Ocean Systems Division, reflecting the integrated-technology company it hoped to achieve. Under the direction of William Laffer, Clevite's former president, Gould acquired new subsidiaries in electronic and computer technology, giving the company greater capability in producing underwater weapons systems, precision measurements, and controls; in 1971, Gould was awarded a $1.5 billion U.S. Navy procurement contract for the computerized Mark 48 torpedo. Gould employed over 2,500 at its Ocean Systems, Foil Recording Systems & Controls Division in 1985 and was Greater Cleveland's largest defense contractor. (The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History)


The MK-48 ADCAP heavyweight torpedo was produced by Westinghouse and Hughes. (DOD INDUSTRIAL ASSESSMENT FOR TORPEDOES 1995)

In the 1980s Russian technology for submarines created the “alpha threat” of a Russian submarine that could go deeper and father than the Mod 4 units.  There was an immediate need for a MK48 torpedo that could go deeper and farther, and within 16 months the MK48 Mod 5 was developed.  This design upgrade allowed the US Navy to still be within striking distance of their Russian counterparts.  Gould conducted the bulk of the development of the MK 48 Mod 5 units, and was bought out at the time by Westinghouse. (Ordnance Technology Service, Inc.)

 The ADCAP torpedo OPEVAL was completed in August 1988, and the B-LRIP report was sent to Congress in December 1988. ADCAP was reported to be operationally effective against certain threats, but not operationally effective against other threats at that time. The system was reported operationally suitable. (

In the late 1980s and early 1990s the mod 5 was replaced with the Mod 6 unit.  The mod 6 was primarily designed to run quieter and maintain the strong capability of strike in shallow waters as well.  Although much of the development work was again done by Gould/Westinghouse/Northrop Grumman in Cleveland, some of the upgrades were implemented by Raytheon.  Much of this upgrade was implemented by OTS for Raytheon. (Ordnance Technology Service, Inc.)

From then on, various upgrades have been added to the torpedo. As of 2012[update] Mk-48 Mod 6 was in service; a Mod 7 version was test fired in 2008 in the Rim of Pacific Naval exercises. The inventory of the U.S. Navy is 1,046 Mk-48 torpedoes. (


MK 48 Torpedoman
Navy and Civilian