How the VLWT mini torpedo will increase the capabilities of Virginia submarines: development for the US Navy


The American company Northrop Grumman introduced a new mini-torpedo. According to the developers, it should significantly enhance the combat potential of the U.S. Navy submarines in the coming years.


What is a torpedo


The development of a new torpedo, easier than used by American submarines, was carried out as part of the implementation of the Compact Rapid Attack Weapon program. The developers were tasked with creating a miniature and very light torpedo capable of hitting targets and intercepting other torpedoes.

On May 21, 2020, the company introduced a new torpedo, also referred to as VLWT. According to a Northrop Grumman statement, development funding came from private sources, but it used the very light torpedo project documentation (CVLWT) developed by the University of Pennsylvania's Applied Research Laboratory for the United States Naval Research Office. Project documentation was handed over to defense contractors in 2016.

According to David Portner, lead torpedo program manager for the Northrop Grumman subsea systems division, successful testing of a torpedo on the first try was evidence of an effective design that reduced torpedo costs without compromising its performance. Experts say that outwardly VLWT Northrop Grumman is very similar to CVLWT.

The SCEPS closed-cycle steam turbine ESU is used to set the torpedo in motion, based on the use of the heat of the exothermic reaction of molten lithium and sulfur hexafluoride. Immersion of lithium in gaseous sulfur hexafluoride causes a chemical reaction, which drives a turbine that starts a torpedo screw. By the way, the SCEPS system was also used in earlier torpedoes to accelerate movement. Northrop Grumman was able to find solutions that simultaneously improve the technical characteristics of the torpedo and increase its availability through the use of less expensive components.

It should also be noted that Northrop Grumman has already developed torpedoes Mk 48 and Mk 54 for the US Navy. The latest versions of the Mk 48, which are the main torpedoes of American submarines, weigh 1676 kg, while the weight of the new VLWT torpedo is only 99 kg, which is 16 times less .

Light torpedoes will increase the power of the US Navy


The US Navy has recently generally paid special attention to the CRAW program - a compact weapons quick attack. The US military does not spare funds for development in this direction: for example, in the last budget request for fiscal year 2021, the US Navy requested $ 49,5 million for the development of a compact fast-attack weapon program. At the same time, the request emphasized that “compact quick-attack weapons” means a very light torpedo capable of intercepting enemy torpedoes fired to destroy a submarine.


Now the naval command is going to arm the submarines of the Virginia class with torpedoes. Modernization of weapons of submarines is scheduled for the 2024th fiscal year. To this end, a new module will be developed with four large vertical launch tubes, which it is planned to equip all submarines of this class. The light weight of light torpedoes will allow submarines to carry a much larger number of them, which will significantly increase the combat capabilities of submarines.

If we talk about the military-political reasons for the modernization of torpedo armament of the US Navy, they are associated with increasing competition of naval forces in the World Ocean and, primarily, with the confrontation between the US Navy and the Chinese Navy in the South China Sea, as well as in other strategically important areas of the Pacific. In addition, the capabilities of its underwater fleet Russia is growing more and more actively, and countries such as the DPRK and Iran are trying to acquire their own modern submarines.

The Pentagon believes that secrecy and better security will allow American submarines to operate more effectively in the deep ocean. In addition, it is possible that new mini-torpedoes will eventually find use as weapons not only of submarines, but also surface ships, and even naval aircraft aviation.

It is also worth noting that the creation of a new torpedo is also the loading of production facilities in California, Minnesota, Maryland, Utah, Colorado and West Virginia, where Northrop Grumman plans to mass-produce the torpedo. Accordingly, a certain number of American engineers and workers, maintenance personnel will be provided with jobs.
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  1. Mavrikiy 22 May 2020 10: 15 New
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    How the VLWT mini torpedo will increase the capabilities of Virginia submarines: development for the US Navy
    Are you sure that torpedoes were taken in the USA? Something vaguely reminds me of Popuasia. repeat
    1. The leader of the Redskins 22 May 2020 10: 23 New
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      Are you allergic to blue and yellow? This is a common disease in the last six years.
      And on the dashboard, I must admit, the weight was reduced specifically. Still more read other TTX.
      1. Mavrikiy 22 May 2020 10: 28 New
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        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        And on the dashboard, I must admit, the weight was reduced specifically
        The weight of nonsense, for the anti-torpedo, its miniaturization, that’s the determining parameter.
        1. over time, they will find application not only as submarines, but also surface ships, and even naval aircraft as weapons
          Sorry, but for aviation, weight has always been relevant.
          1. Elephant 22 May 2020 10: 47 New
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            Weight valid for all carriers
      2. Mavrikiy 22 May 2020 10: 48 New
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        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        Are you allergic to blue and yellow? This is a common disease in the last six years.
        And you from there, sympathize.
        1. My father is from there. Just from near Kiev. I communicate regularly. And, you know, everything is not so bad as to sympathize ...
    2. poquello 22 May 2020 11: 08 New
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      Quote: Mavrikiy
      How the VLWT mini torpedo will increase the capabilities of Virginia submarines: development for the US Navy
      Are you sure that torpedoes were taken in the USA? Something vaguely reminds me of Popuasia. repeat

      package nk Russia

      we have stolen
      1. Sky strike fighter 22 May 2020 11: 16 New
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        Well, we, too, are not idle. wink
        Universal, accurate, powerful - state tests of the promising missile anti-submarine complex “Response” will be completed in 2020. This was reported to reporters by the Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia Alexey Krivoruchko. The Gidropribor concern has already begun pilot-production of the new system.



        "Answer" is intended for ships of the classes "corvette", "frigate" and "cruiser". In particular, during the modernization, it will receive the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov of Project 1144 Orlan, which is due to return to the Navy in 2021.

        “Now in service with Russian warships is the package-NK anti-submarine complex,” says Victor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, RIA Novosti. - The “answer” is, in fact, the further development of this system. The performance characteristics have not been disclosed. The modular design will allow you to place the “Response” on the ships of almost any displacement, from small missile to heavy nuclear cruiser. This is a universal tool that provides anti-submarine defense of a single ship. It acts on the principle of timely detection of underwater threats and destruction of both the carrier and the weapons used by it. "

        Package NK protects surface ships from torpedoes and submarines at short range. There are two types of ammunition in service with this complex - MTT thermal torpedoes and M-15 reactive torpedoes. The first is capable of destroying submarines at depths of up to 600 meters at a distance of up to 20 kilometers. The second intercepts the attacking torpedo ship at a range of up to 1,4 kilometers and a depth of up to 800 meters. "Package-NK" is as automated as possible, independently detects and classifies the target, determines the parameters of its movement and gives the torpedo or counter-torpedo accurate target designation. Both ammunition is quite fast, develop a speed of up to 50 knots (92 kilometers per hour).

        http://agitpro.su/potopit-ogajo-rossiya-ispytyvaet-novejshij-udarnyj-kompleks/
      2. pmkemcity 22 May 2020 11: 19 New
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        we have stolen

        The MTT small-sized thermal torpedo in the caliber 324 mm was created by the State Unitary Enterprise “Research Institute of Marine Heat Engineering”. During the development, original scientific and technical solutions, technologies and unique experience of developers of underwater marine equipment were used. With a length of 3200 mm, the torpedo has a weight of 390 kg and is equipped with a warhead weighing 60 kg.
        Source: http://bastion-karpenko.ru/paket/ MTC "BASTION" AVKarpenko
        Anti-torpedo AT-E MPTK "Package-E" is designed to destroy attacking torpedoes. The caliber of the rocket is 324 mm, its length is 3200 mm and its weight is 380 kg.
        Source: http://bastion-karpenko.ru/paket/ MTC "BASTION" AVKarpenko
      3. poquello 22 May 2020 12: 12 New
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        Quote: poquello
        we have stolen

        specially for quiet minusers, the package was accepted in 2008, the American tripper in 2013
        1. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 42 New
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          Quote: poquello
          package accepted in 2008

          don't bullshit hurt her
          The package then just started to "walk"
          1. poquello 22 May 2020 15: 46 New
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            Quote: Fizik M
            Quote: poquello
            package accepted in 2008

            don't bullshit hurt her
            The package then just started to "walk"

            2010 is already a package, well, tell us about alternative reality
            1. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 50 New
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              Quote: poquello
              2010 is already a package,

              Package E is in the area 2001, and then a real contract was considered for it (and it is very unfortunate that it did not take place)
              Quote: poquello
              tell about alternative reality

              for fairy tales to Murzilka
              and P is MY materiel
              1. poquello 22 May 2020 15: 54 New
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                Quote: Fizik M
                Quote: poquello
                2010 is already a package,

                Package E is in the area 2001, and then a real contract was considered for it (and it is very unfortunate that it did not take place)
                Quote: poquello
                tell about alternative reality

                for fairy tales to Murzilka
                and P is MY materiel

                is everything normal with the calendar?
                The world's first actual anti-torpedo guidance on attacking torpedoes took place in July 1998 at the Feodosia training ground of the Russian Navy.
                In the future, the results of these successful works formed the basis of new means of the active PTZ “Lasta” and “Package”. The Package-E / NK complex has been exported since the early 2000s. "Lasta" was first announced at the Army-15 forum, as part of the armament of the Strategic Missile Submarine (RPLSN) of project 955A.

                https://bmpd.livejournal.com/1621670.html
                1. Fizik M 22 May 2020 16: 05 New
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                  Quote: poquello
                  is everything normal with the calendar?

                  COMPLETELY
                  see flyers on it 90s
                  THEN it was ONLY AT, and with flutes
                  Quote: poquello
                  https://bmpd.livejournal.com/1621670.html

                  about testing 98g. I wrote;)
                  and now the main thing is (in 98) they were LAYOUT samples
                  ferstein?
    3. Carnifexx 22 May 2020 12: 00 New
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      No, it doesn't
  2. knn54 22 May 2020 10: 57 New
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    There are a couple of points:
    -Excellent weapon for underwater "drones";
    - “mixed” VLWT ammunition with the Mk 48 will give boats additional flexibility when “small” targets are to be attacked.
    1. KVU-NSVD 22 May 2020 11: 42 New
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      Its main function is anti-torpedo. If they are available, it will be much more difficult to sink a submarine with them - given that in the ammunition load there will probably be a lot of them (with such mass dimensions) and they will probably be able to shoot back from the attack in a volley way.
      1. poquello 22 May 2020 12: 18 New
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        Quote: KVU-NSVD
        they will probably be able to shoot back from the attack in a volley way.

        )))))))))))) probably, because normally it does not perform its functions
  3. JD1979 22 May 2020 11: 15 New
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    The package we have only on surface ships passed the test? On the submarines, as I understand it, no normal imitators or anti-torpedoes are expected in the near future?
    1. poquello 22 May 2020 12: 02 New
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      Quote: JD1979
      The package we have only on surface ships passed the test?

      ahem, read about the fins
      1. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 41 New
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        Quote: poquello
        read the fins

        sad reading is obtained
        despite the fact that a fully working AT model for submarines was already in our END 80s (!!!)
  4. pmkemcity 22 May 2020 11: 25 New
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    A sort of "SAM" for the "supply". The name has yet to be invented, as well as the name of the application environment itself (not the one after Tuesday).
  5. Tuzik 22 May 2020 12: 00 New
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    100 kg torpedo? how much explosive then? what could she sink
    1. Carnifexx 22 May 2020 12: 06 New
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      Yes, centner. I think about 20 kg. Torpedo.
    2. Aqr009 22 May 2020 15: 12 New
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      what could she sink

      Submarine drones, unmanned boats, autonomous sonars, but you never know the little things different in the ocean floats, the same pirate boats, for example soldier
  6. Subtext 22 May 2020 12: 09 New
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    Original photo. So caliber 324. The rest of the article is about nothing.

    More details here:
    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/27386/u-s-navy-looking-to-arm-its-subs-with-tiny-torpedoes-that-intercept-incoming-torpedoes


  7. Sancho_SP 22 May 2020 12: 22 New
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    And how to launch it from a submarine? Through a regular torpedo tube? That is, only forward (there seem to be no more devices pointing back)?
    1. V.I.P. 22 May 2020 14: 39 New
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      So it is written in the article that there will be a vertical launcher for them!
    2. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 38 New
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      Quote: Sancho_SP
      And how to launch it from a submarine?

      it was originally made under ZPU
      more precisely - under TPK ZPU
  8. Fmax 22 May 2020 14: 10 New
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    100 kg can be dropped from some drones ...
    1. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 38 New
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      Quote: FMax
      100 kg can be dropped from some drones ...

      in presentations, they painted it for 10 years
  9. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 37 New
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    REALITIES:
    In the anti-torpedo, the most complex power installation of the Mk50 (caliber 32 cm) was placed in an extremely small case (17 cm). The obvious conclusion from this is the presence of strict requirements of the U.S. Navy for developers to ensure the destruction of high-speed targets at great depths, along with conventional torpedoes used at depths of up to several hundred meters. The version that such a choice of a power plant was “simply a mistake of the developers” is doubtful, since at the same time the U.S. Navy sent Mk50 torpedoes to warehouses (operational price!), Therefore, in order to use an expensive and complex power plant in a new development ( and requiring significant test statistics), there had to be very good reasons. Moreover, the desired result could be quite obtained with conventional fuels.
    ...
    LESSONS AND CONCLUSIONS

    What is the main reason for this failure of the US Navy, despite the fact that enormous and high-tech resources have been expended and experienced and competent developers have been involved, while the task is difficult, but can be solved? The obvious reason is leadership. The success of fundamentally new, breakthrough programs is largely determined by the personality of their leader. In creating anti-torpedo, an unconditional priority belongs to domestic developers. In 1998, as a result of research and development work carried out since the late 80s, for the first time in the world, tests of prototypes of domestic anti-torpedoes (GNPP Region, now part of the Tactical Missile Corporation Corporation) were fully successful. . The key reason for the success of the creation in the conditions of the harsh 90s of the Russian anti-torpedo lies not only in its strong and courageous developers, but also in the head - the chief designer and general director of the GNPP "Region" E. Shahidjanov.

    There were mistakes in this work (the one who does nothing is not mistaken), and it went uneasy. But from the very first steps of development, the most critical components of a promising complex and anti-torpedoes were really tested in difficult marine conditions (it was 1998!). That is, the fact that the US Navy was simply afraid to spend all of recent years, despite the pressure from Congress, the “Shakhidzhanov team” conducted immediately - at the initial stage of development. Here it is necessary to note the competent and decisive position of the customer - the then head of the Directorate of Anti-Submarine Arms of the Navy, Rear Admiral V.N. Panferov, who not only began this breakthrough development in the extremely difficult conditions of the 90s, but also organizationally provided it with “research stages”, which made it possible for the developer to carry out the necessary research studies and tests of prototypes, which convincingly proved the reality of the work, and check the key decisions. The problem is that the next time we repeated it only in ... 2013. Our anti-torpedo was frankly scared.

    Obviously, in the USA for this development there was no “own Shakhidzhanov” and “own Panferov”. However, taking into account the extremely rigid formulation of anti-torpedo protection issues and their equally stringent control in Congress, the necessary organizational measures in the United States will be taken, and at the beginning of the 2020's effective PTZ systems, which have anti-torpedoes in the ammunition kit, will still be received by the U.S. Navy. But with high probability we can say that they will not be AT Tripwire, but products optimized for the effective destruction of conventional torpedoes.

    The prospect of Tripwire itself as an anti-torpedo (or ultra-small torpedo) will directly depend on the development of deep-sea combat assets of opponents of the United States. The necessary technical groundwork for this was created during the program.

    In this way, SSTD program can be assessed as a complete failure in terms of development work, but a very serious scientific and technical groundwork as a research work due to the large volume of research and testing. And the main lesson is the “role of the individual” in technology and the implementation of major breakthrough projects, for which the presence of their own “Korolev” is a key condition for success

    http://nvo.ng.ru/armament/2019-02-15/6_1034_tripwire.html
  10. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 39 New
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    Quote: Subtext
    More details here:

    no, more details here
    http://nvo.ng.ru/armament/2019-02-15/6_1034_tripwire.html
  11. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 40 New
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    Quote: Subtext
    So the caliber 324.

    no, about 170
  12. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 45 New
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    comprehensive article on AT issues
    https://topwar.ru/156666-antitorpedy-my-poka-vperedi-no-nas-uzhe-obgonjajut.html
    и
    http://nvo.ng.ru/armament/2019-03-29/6_1039_torpeda.html
  13. Fizik M 22 May 2020 15: 52 New
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    +1
    Quote: poquello
    2013 American tripper

    LIES