Northrop Grumman has concluded the assembly and testing of a next-generation torpedo for the U.S. Navy and is set to begin manufacturing parts at facilities across the country.
The company said Thursday it built the Very Lightweight Torpedo prototype with Barber-Nichols using a chemical energy-based propulsion system in pursuit of the service branch's Compact Rapid Attack Weapon program.
Northrop based its VLWT design on the Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory’s torpedo concept that was disseminated to industrial entities in 2016.
Alan Lytle, vice president for undersea systems at Northrop, said the company is ready to support the fielding of VLWT for subsea missions as well as integration with multiple warfighting systems.
Currently, Northrop is in the full-rate production phase for the Navy's MK 48 heavyweight and MK 54 lightweight torpedoes.
The company has delivered over 670 of the torpedo nose arrays to the service branch to date.