Japanese Type 12 lightweight torpedo being launched from a frigate.
Source: www.mod.go.jp - © Public domain
The Type 12 is a modern lightweight torpedo of Japanese origin. It was developed to supplement and eventually replace the Type 97 in Japanese service. During development is was known as the G-RX5. Whereas the earlier Type 97 was developed as a deeper diving torpedo for use in oceans, the Type 12 is reportedly optimized for shallow coastal waters.
The Type 12 has a conventional layout for a lightweight torpedo. The nose section houses the seeker, the warhead is in the middle and the engine and propulsion system make up the rear half of the torpedo. The 324mm diameter conforms to NATO standards. The Type 12 has a 38% parts commonality with the Type 97. Propulsion is provided by an Otto fuel motor coupled to a pump jet.
The Type 12 is optimized for coastal waters and the majority of the improvements relate to the seeker and data processing capability. Improvements include processing of a wider range of frequencies, addition of side scanning sonar and magnetic detection. It is likely that the deep ocean capabilities of the Type 97 are retained.
The Type 12 can be launched from surface ships and various ASW aircraft. Either HOS-303 triple torpedo tube or Type 07 vertical launch ASW rocket are used. Various types of ASW aircraft can drop the Type 12. These include the SH-60K Seahawk, P-3C Orion and indigenous P-1.
The Type 12 is used only by Japan, most notably the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Per Japanese policy the Type 12 is not available for export.
The Type 12 is of similar size and weight as the American Mk 46 torpedo.
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