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The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Germany of MK 54 lightweight torpedoes, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on 7 December 2023.

The sale, which is worth an estimated USD 300 M (EUR 279 M) and has been passed to the US Congress for final approval, would allow the German Navy to arm its future fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft with the weapons.

Germany’s Bundestag initially approved the purchase of P-8As in June 2021, but in mid-November 2021 its budget committee released funding for another three P-8As to be ordered. The German Poseidon fleet is due to enter service from the end of 2024.

Germany has requested to buy up to 80 MK 54 all-up round lightweight torpedoes (LWTs). Also included in the package are MK 54 Mod 0 LWT spare parts; recoverable exercise torpedoes (REXTORPs) with containers; handling shapes and containers; torpedo spare parts; tools for mounting and dismounting air launch accessories; equipment for analysis of REXTORP exercise shots; REXTORP maintenance equipment; training; publications; support and test equipment; US government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and programme support.

The principal contractor for this FMS will be Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems out of its facilities in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

A US Navy P-8A Poseidon at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state taxis forward on 1 August 2023 to be loaded with a MK 54 lightweight torpedo: a weapon now destined to arm the German Navy’s P-8As. (Photo: US Navy)