Marine scuba weapons: challenges and opportunities

Marine scuba weapons: challenges and opportunities
Our fleet today is forced to buy expensive and outdated torpedoes.

The undoubted mistake made in the USSR back in the 50s was the monopolization of the development of the homing system of torpedoes by organizations that have no experience in the field of sonar technology. Due to the fact that at the initial stage the German samples were copied, the task was considered simple ...


Meanwhile, it was in the middle of the twentieth century that the time of the “primitive” CLO abroad ended. New requirements for marine underwater arms forced to search for fresh ideas. In the Soviet Union, the competition of the best creators of sonar technology was welcomed, organizations such as the Central Research Institute "Morphyspribor", the Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics and the Acoustic Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences were attracted to its creation ... Alas, the development of CLS in our country was concentrated at the Central Research Institute "Gidropribor" with minimal use of experience and developments of outside organizations. Rough blunders were made with the establishment of scientific support from the Navy (28-th Central Research Institute). It is unlikely that the mistakes made by the developers in 70-80-s would have been missed by the specialists of the Research Center for Electronic Weapons (SIC REV) of the Navy, they were too obvious ...

In 50-60-x passive CLS (torpedoes СЭТ-53, МГТ-1, САЭТ-60М) are adopted, which are largely copies of the first German self-propelled torpedo Taukening (1943 year). It is characteristic that one of these SSN (torpedo SAET-60М) was in service with our Navy before the beginning of the 90-s - a unique case of longevity for a rather complex military electronic system, indicating our well-being in the development of SSN torpedoes.

In the 1961, the first domestic active-passive SSN for the SET-40 torpedoes was put into service, and in 60-s, the anti-submarine torpedoes of the 53 cm. Caliber (AT-2, SET-65) were also obtained. At the beginning of the 70-s based on the development of the 60-x creates a unified for all torpedoes CCH "Sapphire". These systems were fully operational, provided simple conditions for reliable targeting, but had extremely low noise immunity against SGPD and were significantly inferior in performance to the CLO of the US Navy torpedoes.

For the promising torpedoes of the 3 generation of the OST, the requirements bar was set up by the MCP of the Mk-48mod.1 torpedoes, capable of detecting a submarine at a distance of more than 2 km in favorable hydrological conditions. The task of “catching up and overtaking America” was accomplished by the end of the 70-s of the creation of a powerful low-frequency SSN “Waterfall”, developed for the UMGT-1 aircraft torpedo and installed (in a more powerful version) in the USET-80 torpedo. The new system in the conditions of the deep-sea polygons of the Black Sea provided the response radius set in the TTZ for non-advancing submarines. However, tests in real conditions were devastating.

L. Bozin, head of the torpedo weapon exploitation department of the 28 Central Research Institute of the Navy, recalled: “The commander of the 3 generation of submarines, Admiral Tomko, sent the boats into combat service with a heavy feeling ... Knowing that torpedoes are not pointed at the target, while performing combat he arranged the shooting boat and the target in such a way that it was impossible to miss. But the torpedo did not see the target anyway ... ”And also:“ What about the Naval Institute? Scientists of the Naval Institute made no real contribution to the development of 70-80-s systems. Wrote some kind of research, reports, conclusions. And thanks for that. And looked where they showed. And the developers could only show what they had: the results of work on the Black Sea. ”

A similar situation is described in the memoirs of an employee of the research institute "Gidropribor", who participated in the development: "Shel 1986 year. The Northern Fleet has been firing USET-80 practical torpedoes for five years. However, in the submarine mode, the results of these firing began to alarm: maybe the sailors are not mastering this torpedo or the torpedo is unstable induced in the conditions of the shallow northern polygons.

After repeated batisfere tests on real targets, it was established that the SSN torpedoes USET-80 in the conditions of the North landfills did not provide the required response distance according to the technical specification.

The honor of the fleet remained at the height, and the Central Research Institute Gidropribor took another two years to put on the torpedo USET-80 SSN, adapted, among other things, to the conditions of the North. ”

Or: "... pleased with their success ... self-seekers completing their cycle of full-scale tests of the Kolibri torpedoes (294 product, mm 324 caliber, 1973 year) with a CLN reproduced on the domestic element base ... This CLN is" Ceramics "- broke all records of longevity. Virtually no torpedo remained, where, during modernization, this SSN would not be installed as an antisubmarine strike. ”

“USET-80K caliber 534 mm, 1989 of the year ... new two-plane active-passive acoustic CER“ Ceramics ”.

Thus, all the 80s with real USET-80 torpedo combat capability in the fleet were big problems (despite the fact that the old CLOs were induced normally), which were solved only in 1989 by installing the United States replicated on the domestic element base. torpedoes ... the development of 60's (!). And history this - the ongoing serial release of this CLO - the developer does not cease to be proud in the XXI century ...

As they say, no comment!

It is also characteristic that the systems of homing developed for the APR-1 and APR-2 anti-aircraft missiles developed by the NPO Region were already much better and smarter than the main developer in the 60's. The SSN of a modern UGST torpedo is also the result of the work of the NGO Region. Based on the knowledge of the APR in the Scientific Production Association was developed anti-torpedo complex "Package", but more on that below.


Against the background of these problems, the development of anti-submarine missiles for nuclear submarines should be considered our undoubted success.

There is an opinion: since the enlightened West does not have them in service, we don’t need it either. However, the PLR ​​is a high-speed weapon, ensuring the defeat of enemy submarines in the shortest possible time and at much greater distances than torpedoes. The use of anti-submarine missiles in a situation where the enemy fired first, allows you to seize the initiative in battle and win. And a big role is played by the speed of delivery of the warhead to the target. The merit of the Novator Design Bureau is precisely in the implementation of this requirement, which was most clearly manifested in the 86 caliber X-RUM of the NRX. The opinion that the range of this anti-submarine missile (about 65 km) was not needed is illiterate. Range - this is a consequence of high speed, providing a significant increase in efficiency at distances much smaller than the maximum in comparison with the 100 LHR of the 83 caliber.

Unfortunately, the PCR 83p and 86p had some drawbacks - a consequence of a number of errors in the TTZ on their development.

One of them was the surface version of the "Waterfall" - PLR 83рн. Starting from a submarine imposes on the rocket a number of additional requirements (and this is both weight and money) completely unnecessary for surface ships. The ammunition of our anti-submarine ships was repeatedly inferior to the Western ones, moreover, this tendency grew with each new project, an example of which is the TXR of the 11540 project with absolutely insufficient ammunition from six rocket-torpedo launchers of 53 caliber.

What are the reasons for this situation? First, in the isolation of our military science from the fleet. Here it is impossible not to recall the widely publicized torpedo "Squall". Yes, the 200 units in the serial product received, but a number of restrictions made this weapon virtually useless in combat. The interest of foreign intelligence services to this topic was not directed at the Squall itself, but at the enormous amount of underwater missile bench testing conducted here, because the ideology of high-speed torpedoes developed in the USA and Germany was fundamentally different - non-nuclear, with SSN, high speed and low range, for use by aviation and as a combat unit of the PCRK (that is, close to what we had on the APR).

This separation led to a number of developments, suitable only for the "paper wars". The fleet, often quite ironic about the next news of science, simply crushed by routine, from the amount of paper work increasing from year to year and ending with the activities of the daily combat training plan, continuous “presentation to the auditors” and “elimination of remarks”.

The next reason is the shortcomings of training (first of all, narrow specialization of officers), organization and system of solving the issues of the Navy. The gunsmithing officer (anti-submarine) had, as a rule, poor knowledge of acoustics and submarine detection systems, since the training programs were aimed at primarily studying the mechanical part.

In some cases, the reasons lie in the very low quality of the mathematics of tactical models developed for the scientific support of the design of ships and MPO.

Another reason can be considered the lack of a single body with powers and resources responsible for the future development of the Navy. The prospect of the Navy is engaged in everything and little by little - the Marine Scientific Committee, the Naval Academy, the 1 Central Research Institute, the 24 Central Research Institute, central administrations ... In general - formally - only the Main Board Committee of the Navy, which has a huge load of current affairs.

This situation did not arise today. The former commander of the Northern Fleet, Admiral A.P. Mikhailovsky (see his book Commander of the Fleet), describes it amazingly — that is, by no means. Arkady Petrovich speaks about the fact that the task of mastering 3 ships of the generation to him was special, Arkady Petrovich speaks more than once, but he never mentioned the most acute problems the fleet had to face during its execution (for example USET-80).


Apparently, it makes sense to analyze the experience of other states that have powerful naval forces, primarily the United States. For example, carefully study the division of the organizational structure of the Navy into administrative and operational, but this issue is beyond the scope of this article.

Saving on our surface ships torpedo tubes (TA) caliber 53 cm - is nothing but a rudiment of the Second World War. Fifty years ago, the whole world switched to TA for small-sized torpedoes with salvo distances similar to those of 53 caliber cm (without telecontrol).

The commander of one of the American destroyers said very well about modern TA NK: “I hope to never experience a nightmare to find a submarine at a distance of their effective use”.

Small-sized torpedoes in the US Navy are weapons of aviation and for ships have long been a "spare gun." The main weapon of the PLO of American ships is the Asrrok VLA PLRK with a hit zone from 1,5 to 28 km (with the prospect of a further increase).

In the arsenals of the Russian Navy there is a significant number of mines of the MTPK, which, if anything, taking into account the reduction of the ship’s personnel, we cannot physically. The structure of these mines includes torpedoes MPT ("our Mk-46"). She, like her American ancestor, has great potential and, with appropriate repairs, is able to serve for many more years due to modernization. “Having played enough” in 90-ies with an expensive toy - a compact torpedo with MK-50 SuperTX, Americans already in the XXI century pragmatically returned to the development of 60-x - Mk-46 with a new CCH, which has become modernized as Mk-54.

For us, a similar solution is much more appropriate. The appearance on our NK caliber 324 mm (with a modernized MPT torpedo) objectively paves the way for the anti-torpedo complex Package (caliber 324 mm), which today should be the main element of the ship’s anti-torpedo defense circuit.


The adoption of new models of torpedoes (especially their SSN) and detection systems (including on the basis of active illumination and network-centric multi-position systems) from the beginning of the 90-s of foreign naval forces has further aggravated the situation with the IGO of the Russian Navy and its carriers ( first of all underwater) already at the conceptual level, fundamentally questioning the submarines and their weapons in the traditional look.

It is necessary to recognize that the nature of changes in the submarine war over the past two decades has not been fully realized, not only here, but also abroad. The development of an adequate concept of the development of weapons and military equipment is real only after a thorough study of the possibilities of new network-centric systems and their testing in real conditions. Today we can talk only about determining the direction of development of underwater weapons and priority measures to resolve the most acute problems of the Navy's IGO.

The fundamental changes in submarine warfare include:

- a significant increase in guaranteed submarine detection distances with new search tools;

- increasing the noise immunity of new sonars, which makes it extremely difficult to suppress them even with new EW tools.

The conclusion that such a modern torpedo homing system can be made, for example, from the report of the conference UDT-2001 (9 years ago!).

For three years, specialists from BAE Systems and the Department of Defense Research of the UK MoD have carried out this work for the Spearflsh torpedo. The main areas of work included:

- processing of a broadband signal (in active and passive modes);

- use of a more complex waveform envelope;

- the hidden mode of the active location;

- adaptive beamforming;

- classification using neural networks;

- improvement of the tracking process.

The tests revealed that the use of a wide band (about an octave) makes it possible to increase the efficiency of extracting the useful signal against the background of noise due to the increased processing time. In the active mode, this allows the use of a signal duration compression procedure, which reduces the effect of surface and bottom reverberation.

To detect targets using low-power signal radiation, a complex shape of the signal envelope with random filling and a wide frequency band is used. In this case, the radiation of the torpedo is not detected by the target.

It should be particularly noted that these are not some promising developments, this is already a fact, moreover, in serial torpedoes, as confirmed by the press service of the command of the US Navy submarine command from 14 December 2006 of the year: was loaded onto Pasadena’s SSN-48 in Pearl Harbor.

The ability to effectively counter such torpedoes requires primarily anti-torpedoes. In modern conditions, anti-submarine missiles are acquiring a special role, especially since in this matter we are now surpassing everyone. For heavy torpedoes, the ability to attack surface targets from distances greater than 25-35 km with multi-torpedo volleys with remote control becomes extremely important.

Maybe, taking into account the indicated problems, it makes sense to buy torpedoes abroad, as it used to be in the XIX century or in the 30 of the XX century? But as once, alas, it will not work, as the main ones in the torpedo today are its CLS, control system, algorithms. And these questions by leading developers are closed tightly, including the development of special schemes for ensuring the destruction of torpedo software, so that the enemy cannot recover it even from the wreckage.

The MoD of Great Britain is investigating the possible acquisition of the 48 ADCAP heavy torpedo from the US Navy as a ready-made alternative to upgrading the Spearfish heavy wire torpedo controlled by the submarine. This decision acquired great importance after the Defense Ministry’s Department of Defense Industrial Policy stated in December 2005 that in the future the UK would be ready to buy torpedoes abroad, provided that it retains control of their tactical software and SSN (Janes Navy International, 2006, p. 111, No. 5, p. 5).

It turns out that there is no certainty that even the closest ally of the United States, the United Kingdom, received full access to the “software” ...

Abroad, it is possible and necessary to purchase a number of components for our IGO, but the homing system and control system must be domestic. This job also has a great export perspective. We have the scientific potential necessary for the development of modern SSN.

Today, MPO is one of the main attack and defensive means of the Maritime Forces General Purpose (ISON) and plays a crucial role in ensuring the combat sustainability of the naval strategic nuclear forces (NSNF). And in conditions of significant superiority of possible adversaries in the theater of military operations and air supremacy, a modern mine war (with the use of long-range self-transporting and ultra-wideband mines) can be a powerful deterrent, but the latter deserves a separate discussion.

I repeat: despite the acute problems with the development and production of modern IGOs, today there is sufficient scientific and production potential for the development and production of underwater weapons that meet the most modern requirements.

To do this:

1. Introduction to R & D - stages, modularity. The result even at an intermediate stage of development should be suitable for practical use.

2. Analysis of all the production capabilities of our engineering to achieve maximum performance characteristics and minimum cost of MPO.

3. The widespread use of civilian technology.

4. The issues of military-technical cooperation are extremely important in terms of both exports and imports in the interests of the development of the Navy's IGOs. Competent questioning The PTS is working to provide HRT issues.

5. Participation in the development of MPO developers - use the reserve previously made underwater weapons for the production of promising samples, as is done in the same US.

6. Proofreading regulatory documents on the development of military hardware to meet new approaches and time requirements to reduce the time and cost of R & D.

7. The refusal of TA caliber 53 cm on surface ships, the transition to the caliber 324 mm with a modernized torpedoes MPT and anti-torpedo "Package".

8. It is categorically necessary to equip a submarine with anti-torpedoes of the “Package” complex. Option for submarine pr. 877 present for export.

8. Revision of the submarine torpedo tube for the TU hose, modernization of heavy torpedoes for the hose reel, development of the hose TU in the fleet.

9. Given the limitations in resources and the provision of the Navy submarines submunition ammunition, it is advisable to have two types of heavy torpedoes: a modern model - the UGST and a modernized (with battery replacement, SSN and installation of a hose telecontrol) torpedo USET-80.

10. In modern conditions, the PLR ​​is becoming the main weapon of the PLO for both surface ships and submarines.

11. Start the development of a particularly small MPO (caliber less than 324 mm). The development of CLS makes it possible to ensure high efficiency even of a small-sized small torpedo warhead and helps to significantly reduce its cost.
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