Some interesting news from Europe comes from the team-up between the British Kraken Technology Group and Italy’s Leonardo group to use Black Scorpion and Lionfish systems on the K50.
Leonardo’s Black Scorpion is an ultra-lightweight mini-torpedo developed to tackle small submarine threats with short-range engagements in littoral waters. It weighs 4.5 kg and can operate in waters 30–200 m deep.
The cool thing about this tiny “contact classification” torpedo is that it fits in a 5-inch sonobuoy launcher such as the common 25-cell launcher that has been fitted to the SH-60/MH-60 family for the past 40 years. Cheap, it is able to zap midget subs and damage larger interlopers enough to either scare them into doing something stupid or make them a lot noisier and therefore easier to chase down.
As for the K50, Kraken describes it as a “maritime gunship.” A 50-foot converted yacht, it can carry a team of frogman types and just be operated by a crew of two (or uncrewed altogether possibly). As a weapon fit, it could carry Leonardo’s remote-controlled Lionfish mount in .50 cal or 20mm as well as Black Scorpions and small ASuMs such as Martlet, Sea Venom, or Griffin.
According to KTG:
Inspired by the efficacy of the heavily-weaponized, swarm-based, planing powerboats of the WW2 era, the K50 KRAKEN is every inch the spiritual successor to the renowned Motor Torpedo Boat, Motor Gun Boat, and PT Boat-type craft. Engineered from the keel up as a fully integrated weapons platform to exceed anything currently available, the K50 KRAKEN simply delivers more performance, more effective strike capability, and more mission-specific customization. This combination of innovative engineering, diligent naval architecture, and technology-enhanced operational capability makes the KRAKEN equally effective in both deterrent and effector roles.
No matter what, I like where this is going…