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The MK 48 Model 7 heavyweight torpedo was tested in December 2005 off the WA coast by a US submarine. Sea trials aboard the first Australian submarine to be fitted out to use the torpedo, HMAS Waller, are set down for mid 2007.
A follow on version of the Mark 48 Mod 6 guidance and control hardware, called the Advanced Common Torpedo Guidance and Control Box (ACOT-GCB), will be introduced in FY05 in order to replace obsolete components. ACOT-GCB parts will be incorporated into the next-generation torpedo, the Mark 48 Mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS), planned to start testing in FY05. The CBASS torpedo is being developed as part of a cooperative program between the United States and Australia. Several software builds are currently under oversight. Block III upgrade is the final tactical software upgrade to the Mark 48 Mod 5. Block IV extends Block III capabilities and applies them to the Mark 48 Mod 6 weapon. The more sophisticated CBASS software follows the Block IV. In lieu of future Block upgrades, the program plans to employ a series of advanced processor builds (APBs) to both the Mod 6 and CBASS weapons as a more flexible means of introducing software changes. APB testing will begin in FY04. For future software development, DOT&E supports the flexibility of the APB approach, but insists upon complete and rigorous testing of all upgrades.
The Mk 48 ADCAP Mod 6 (MODS) features two hardware upgrades: the guidance and control upgrade and the torpedo propulsion upgrade. The guidance and control upgrade replaces the obsolescent guidance and control unit with current technology, improves the acoustic receiver, and adds additional memory and improves processor throughput to handle the expanded software demands anticipated for near term upgrades. The torpedo propulsion upgrade improves the propulsion unit, details of which are classified.
Included in the upgrade is a Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) programme, which will develop a fully digital wideband sonar capability to enable the torpedo to operate effectively both in shallow water (