May 20 (UPI) -- The State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to Canada of 425 MK 54 lightweight torpedo conversion kits, with support, for an estimated $387 million.
Canada intends to upgrade its current MK 46 torpedoes to MK 54 with the purchase of the kits, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on Friday when it notified Congress of the approval.
The agency said the upgraded torpedoes will be used on the Royal Canadian Navy's Halifax class ships, the Royal Canadian Air Force's CP-140 Aurora aircraft, and the CH-148 maritime helicopters.
Canada will also receive torpedo containers, recoverable exercise torpedoes with containers, fleet exercise section and fuel tanks, as well as air launch accessories for fixed wing, torpedo spare parts, training, publications, support and test equipment, U.S. government and contractor engineering, and technical and logistics support services.
"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of Canada, a NATO ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress and a contributor to military, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations around the world," DSCA said in a news release.
The MK 54 utilizes processing algorithms to analyze the information, edit out false targets or countermeasures, and then pursue identified underwater threats.
"Navies now need a lightweight torpedo capable of delivering a devastating blow to submarine threats in both deep and shallow water -- and in various acoustic environments," Raytheon said on its website.
The kits can be installed in each country with minimum conversion costs "because it is compatible with over 20 launch platforms," according to Raytheon, the principal contractor on the sale.