Modern torpedoes are complex machines that normally require a sophisticated fire control system aboard the firing submarine to program various data inputs required before launch of the torpedo itself. Traditionally, the ship's fire control system and the torpedo must be designed at the outset to be compatible. Developed for the U.S. Navy by SEA CORP, the Portable Weapons Launch System (PWLS) is a complete and compact "carry-on" fire control system. Taken aboard any submarine, the PWLS allows that submarine to fire torpedoes not necessarily compatible with its installed combat system. Built of low cost "Commercial-Off-the-Shelf" components, the PWLS is currently configured for the Navy's Mk 48 torpedoes, but may be adapted to a wide variety of munitions and ship types.
In Phase I of the PWLS Project, SEA CORP demonstrated the feasibility of creating a low-cost, man-transportable, COTS-based system. In Phase II, the company applied the knowledge gained in Phase I to build and test an engineering development model. Midway through Phase II, at the Government’s request, SEA CORP redirected its focus from the MK 48 torpedo to the Improved Submarine-Launched Mobile Mine (ISLMM). The prototype, as completed and successfully tested in May 1999, validated the PWLS concept and convincingly demonstrated its ability to provide all required launch data to the ISLMM. SEA CORP convincingly demonstrated the capability to design and build a small, software-based system capable of providing complex presets to a payload (torpedo or mine) and, through closed-loop feedback, have those presets displayed and verified at a location remote from the payload. The experience gained in the PWLS program is readily transferable to other launchers and other payloads. SEA CORP has demonstrated the ability to design, build, program and operate a small-sized software-based system capable of discriminating among sources and payloads, presetting complex controls and receiving feedback from the launcher. PWLS, completed under a SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contract, is another example of SEA CORP's commitment to advanced concepts to meet today's operational challenges.