Black Shark. New generation heavyweight torpedo

finmeccanica - Leonardo Defence - Black shark

Company: Finmeccanica (Leonardo)

Type: Fibre optic cabling system


Tratos & Finmeccanica cooperation

A new and bespoke fibre-optic cabling system by Tratos allows the Finmeccanica Group (Leonardo) to launch Black Shark – new generation heavyweight torpedo able to counter the most challenging threats posed by any type of surface or underwater target for the next 30 years.

To provide a cabling system able to exceed the limitations of a sub-surface setup, Tratos’ technicians had overcome the existing limits of cable technology. The final product provided by Tratos is able to withstand extremely high-pressure conditions whilst ensuring a communications distance of at least 50km using one, single length of fibre-optic cabling.

Black Shark, the brain child of Finmeccanica’s founder, Robert Whitehead, and the long-awaited result of years of technological research and was tested overnight on the 30/31st October. A team combining technicians from the Malaysian Marines and Finmeccanica-WASS has been able to engineer this innovative device with help from bespoke cabling system by Tratos.

Considered the most advanced multi- purpose weapon designed to be launched from submarines, surface vessels or land stations, Black Shark (by Leonardo Defence) is now being employed within the defence sector of the Malaysian Marines.

For the technicians at Tratos this proves to be undeniable recognition of their ability to set the standard in global cable manufacturing. The use of the company’s cabling systems and the technical support of its technicians did not merely extend to this project – the fibre optic cabling manufactured by Tratos for the sub-surface communication, combined with that which was used within the mechanism, follows on from involvement within another Finmeccanica project in 2013 – an innovative, compact and lightweight torpedo detection system for the British Navy.

Tratos’ fibre optic cabling system, along with its technical support, has been of undeniable use within the international naval defence industry, providing the security sector with efficient, safe, high-quality and innovative technology.

About Leonardo

Protecting people, territories and infrastructure. These are the elements that make Leonardo a global leader in Aerospace, Defence and Security. Their 49,000-plus employees contribute every day to the success of our customers, with advanced technological solutions and a complete, innovative range of services for every mission and every scenario.

They are one of the world’s major players in AerospaceDefence and Security, a global solutions provider and a trusted long-term partner of choice for governments, institutions and business customers.

They deliver cutting-edge and dual-use technologies, meeting both military and civil requirements. In partnership with our customers, we work to strengthen global security, protect people, territories, infrastructure and cyber networks. We guarantee the safe management of air, sea and urban spaces, as well as large-scale events.  

They have a solid industrial legacy, strengthened by the expertise of our people and the continuous pursuit of innovation in our core technologies. Underpinned by a sustainable business model, we are pursuing a path of long-term growth that will create value for all our stakeholders.

Black Shark – new generation heavyweight torpedo

On January 28th , 2014 the new Black Shark Advanced (BSA), produced by WASS was launched for the first time ever from the submarine SCIRE’. The torpedo launched in “Push Out” mode (water ram expulsion system, which ejects the torpedo by means high water-pressure), was equipped in a totally innovative way, thanks to the new Lithium-Polymer Battery.

The launch, called “Short-Fire”, took place in the La Spezia gulf and was aimed at testing the WASS progresses in the frame of the project “New Heavyweight Torpedo”, developed in cooperation with the Italian Navy. The successful launch represents another step ahead, toward the acquisition by the Italian Navy.

The Black Shark is the result of Italian research and cutting-edge technology– said Alessandro Franzoni, Chief Executive Officer of WASS – example of the national excellence in the field of underwater defence equipment through the use of innovative technical solutions for the propulsion systems, power generation and electro-acoustics. Thanks to its high quality standards it will succeed in all main international markets.

Over the next few years, the Black Shark Advanced is expected to replace the old A-184 Heavyweight Torpedo, now supplied to submarines of the Italian Navy, increasing significantly the ability to defend the waters and the Italian homeland.

Participating in this project, Tratos was very pleased to contribute toward achieving the UN Global Goals: Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Goal 14: Life Below Water, and Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

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