In our country, until a certain time, depth charges did not receive adequate attention. At first, the military did not show interest in such weapons, and later there were other reasons why the fleet did not have specialized anti-submarine systems for some time. Full-scale production of domestic depth charges was launched only in the early thirties. In 1933, two depth charges were immediately adopted by the Soviet Navy: the BB-1 and the BM-1. In general, they were similar to each other, but had a number of noticeable differences.
The BB-1 depth bomb (“Bomb Big, First Model”) had an extremely simple design, typical of similar systems of the time. The ammunition was a metal barrel with a height of 712 mm and a diameter of 430 mm, filled with TNT. Bomb weighing 165 kg carried 135 kg of explosive. Depending on the depth, such a charge made it possible to reliably hit targets at ranges from 5 to 20 m. In the upper lid of the “barrel” there was room for the installation of a fuse. Initially, a fuse with an HGB clock mechanism was responsible for the bomb blasting. The use of a clockwork mechanism allowed the bomb to be detonated at a given depth (with a certain error). The maximum depth of use of the BB-1 bomb with a VGB fuse reached 100 m.
Like foreign deep-seated bombs of the time, the BB-1 was to be used together with the aft and airborne bombers of ships and boats. The stern dumper was an inclined frame with rails and a mechanism for holding and dropping bombs. Airborne - a system for holding a bomb with small rails for lowering the ammunition overboard. At the command of the operator, the bomb was released and rolled down over the stern of a ship or boat. The BB-1 depth bomb, which had a cylindrical shape, sank at a speed of no more than 2,5 m / s. Thus, the bomb dive to the maximum depth lasted no less than 40 seconds, which complicated the attack of the enemy's submarines.
The hydrostatic fuse of the VGB did not quite suit the military. Due to the use of a clock mechanism, this device was not reliable and safe to use. In addition, the maximum depth of detonation in 100 meters could be insufficient to attack submarines of foreign countries (primarily Germany) that appeared in the late thirties.
To remedy the current situation, a new K-1940 hydrostatic fuse was created in 3. Instead of a relatively complex clockwork, this fuse used a flexible membrane and a stem, which at a certain depth should have ignited gunpowder in a remote tube. The new fuse allowed to increase the maximum depth of the bomb to 210 m.
In 1940, the first Soviet-made bombers were created in the Soviet Union. Leningrad SKB-4 under the leadership of B.I. Shavyrina developed the BMB-1 bomber bomb, which was a mortar for firing ammunition over-caliber. As a “projectile” for this mortar, a BB-1 bomb was proposed, on the side surface of which a special rod-rod was attached. Bombers BMB-1 by changing the propellant charge allowed to shoot at a distance 40, 80 and 110 m.
Despite the appearance of the BMB-1 hatch bombs, during the Great Patriotic War, the BB-1 bombs were mainly used “traditionally” - in conjunction with bomb-throwers. This technique led to a short-term loss of hydroacoustic contact with the enemy submarine, however, it allowed to “cover” a relatively large area with bombs. In addition, rail throwers were much easier to operate.
In 1951, adopted fleet The BMB-2 brushless bomb was adopted. This weapon was a mortar of 433 mm caliber, capable of firing depth bombs at a range of 40,80 or 110 m (the range was varied by setting the barrel at one of three elevation angles). As an ammunition for this system, the BB-1 depth bomb was originally proposed, the dimensions and weight of which were taken into account during development. Nevertheless, the characteristics of the "Big Bomb" in the late forties no longer fully met the requirements of the military, which is why the BPS depth bomb was soon developed, gradually replacing the BB-1 as an ammunition for the BMB-2.
Simultaneously with the “Bomb of the Big First Model”, the “Bomb of the First Model” BM-1 was adopted by the USSR Navy. Both munitions were similar in terms of design, but differed in size, weight and, as a result, combat qualities. The BM-1 bomb had a body with a diameter of 252 mm and a length of 450 mm. With a total weight of 41 kg BM-1 carried only 25 kg of TNT, which is why the damage radius did not exceed 4-5 meters. The dive speed did not exceed 2,5 m / s.
Bomb BM-1 in the exposition of the Belarusian State Museum stories Great Patriotic War. Photo toto-iono.livejournal.com/
Both depth bombs of the 1933 model of the year were first packaged with a VGB fuse, which in 1940 gave way to a newer and more sophisticated K-3. In view of the smaller size and power of the charge, the depth bomb BM-1 was offered as an auxiliary anti-submarine weapon, and also as a weapon for slow-moving ships and boats that would not have enough speed to escape from the shock wave of the BB-1 bomb. In addition, the Small Bomb became a demining tool and was used to blow up enemy acoustic mines.
Ammunition for RBU bombardment
Even before the end of World War II, the BM-1 bomb became the basis for a new anti-submarine ammunition. In 1945, the Soviet national fleet adopted the first Russian RBU jet bombers, designed to use the BSR depth charges.
The RBM bomb was a BM-1 with a tail unit mounted on it. A solid propellant jet engine and a ring stabilizer were provided for the cylindrical part of the tail block. The parameters of the "warhead" in the form of a BM-1 bomb remained the same. The total weight of the RBM bomb reached 56 kg. The RBM was used with the K-3 hydrostatic fuse. Unlike previous domestic depth bombs, the BSR entered the water with a round butt forward and fell into the water with a certain acceleration. Due to this, the immersion speed increased to 3-3,2 m / s.
In 1953, the RBU bombayer received a new weapon with higher performance. The RGB-12 bomb had a total length of 1240 mm and a case diameter of 252 mm. With a total weight of 71,5 kg, she carried 32 kg of explosive, which allowed the guaranteed destroy targets within a radius of 6 meters. The bomb received a combined hydrostatic and contact fuse K-3М, which allowed attacking targets at depths up to 330 m. Thanks to the nose fairing, the diving speed of the RGB-12 bomb reached 6-8 m / s. A more powerful charge of the solid-fuel engine allowed the bomb to fly on the 1200-1400 m. A volley of eight RGB-12 bombs (two RBU bombers) allowed the ellipse to be covered with the dimensions 70X120 m.
The RSL-12 rocket depth bomb was successful, but the characteristics of the RBU bombard bomb left much to be desired. As a result, in the mid-fifties, the Soviet Navy received a new bomb-strike RBU-1200 "Hurricane", which made it possible to more effectively realize the potential of a bomb.
B-30 and B-30M
In 1949, the tests of the new bomb-model MBU-200, developed by the designers of SKB MB under the direction of B.I. Shavyrina. This system was based on ideas borrowed from the British project Mk 10 Hedgehog. The MBU-200 bomber had a launcher in the form of 24 inclined guide rods, on which the B-30 bombs were to be put on.
Preparing the bombing BMU-200 for firing. Sailors set bombs B-30
Depth bomb B-30 had a cylindrical head with a fairing, as well as a tail pipe, which was placed propellant charge. Ammunition weighing just over 20 kg carried an 13-kilogram explosive charge. An interesting innovation of the MBU-200 / B-30 project was the shock fuse. Now the bombs were supposed to explode not at a given depth, but in the event of a collision with a solid object, primarily with an enemy submarine. According to some reports, the sensitivity of the fuses was chosen in such a way that a single volley bomb would detonate the remaining 23 ammunition.
The firing range of the B-30 bombs reached 200 meters. Separate adjustment of the elevation angle of the guides made it possible to “put” all 24 bombs of a volley into an ellipse of 30-40 length and 40-50 width. With correct determination of the angles of the guidance and the moment of the shot, the contact bombers made it possible to seriously damage the enemy’s submarine.
In 1955, the creation of the MBU-600 bomb bomb, which was a further development of the MBU-200 system, was completed. For use with it was offered an updated depth bomb B-30M. She received a body of smaller diameter with updated fairings. The casing of the tail pipe, consisting of several cylindrical parts, had a close to conical shape. In the tail of the bomb there was a ring stabilizer, which allowed to increase the firing range. Modification of the hull allowed to bring the charge of the bomb B-30М to 14,4 kg. The contact fuse was still responsible for its disruption.
Depth bomb B-30M received a new more robust tail pipe. The rods of the launcher were also reinforced. These changes were associated with an increase in propellant charge, which made it possible to increase the maximum firing range to 640 M. The 24 volley bombs fell into an ellipse with the dimensions 80.45.
It should be noted that the B-30M bomb, which was fired by a propellant charge, was the last domestic ammunition of its class, which used a similar launch method. Starting with the RBU system and the RSL-12 depth bomb, all domestic anti-submarine bombers use only jet ammunition.
During the Second World War, foreign gunsmiths actively worked to increase the rate of submersion of depth charges, which allowed increasing the effectiveness of the use of these weapons. In this case, the first domestic bomb with a high immersion rate appeared only in 1950 year. Ammunition BPS was a development based on foreign developments, studied during the operation of foreign bombs, supplied under lend-lease.
The BPS bomb had a streamlined, drop-shaped hull and tail. The overall dimensions of the ammunition were about the same as those of the BB-1 bomb. For ease of use, there were rings on the head and on the plumage of the bomb, with the help of which she could stand on a flat surface or roll on the rails of the thrower. With a total weight of 138 kg, the BPS bomb carried the 96 kg of explosive. The use of a streamlined hull made it possible to bring the dive rate to 4-4,2 m / s. Initially, BPS bombs were equipped with a K-3 fuse. After 1953, they were completed with newer K-3M.
Soon after the appearance of the BPS bomb, it was proposed to use it not only with rail throwers, but also with the BMB-2 bomber. As in the case of the BB-1 bomb, when using a BPS bomb, a bomb model of this model could attack a target at a distance of 40, 80 and 110 m. It should be noted that the use of a bomb with a higher immersion rate had almost no effect on the combat capabilities of the system. In the early fifties, no one had any doubt that the future was with anti-submarine bombers capable of firing a volley.
From 1957, the ships of the Soviet Navy began to install the latest RBU-2500 "Smerch" bombas, created taking into account the operating experience of previous systems of this class. To improve the performance of the system, a new RSB-25 reactive depth bomb was developed. As before, the enemy’s submarines were proposed to attack with unguided rockets capable of sinking to a certain depth.
The RSL-25 bomb in its design resembled the previous jet ammunition for anti-submarine bombers. The head section with a diameter of 212 mm contained a fuse and 25,8 kg of explosive in it. The total length of the bomb - 1,34 m, the total weight - 85 kg. The solid-propellant rocket engine allowed the RSL-25 bomb to fly a distance from 550 to 2500 m. The firing range was set by changing the elevation angle of the guided bomb bomb. The streamlined shape of the bomb shell in combination with the vertical speed at the moment of its entry into the water made it possible to achieve a relatively high immersion rate - up to 11 m / s. The power of the warhead allowed to hit targets within a radius of 5 m.
At the time of adopting the RSL-25 jet depth bomb, it was equipped with a UDV-25 shock-and-distance fuse, which allowed the warhead to be detonated at depths from 10 to 320 m or when it touched an enemy submarine. In 1960, a contactless acoustic fuse WB-1М appeared, which was mounted on a bomb along with the old UDV-25 in its case. The WB-1M fuse allowed the bomb to react to a target located at a distance of 6 m. In addition, the acoustic fuse provides simultaneous blasting of several volley bombs. When a shock fuse is triggered by one of the bombs, all ammunition that are within 90-100 meters is undermined. The use of an acoustic fuse in combination with a shock and hydrostatic increased the likelihood of an enemy submarine being hit by a volley of 16 depth charges.
The further development of the domestic jet bomb was the system Sberch-6000 RBU-2, which was developed taking into account the maximum automation of loading and firing. Especially for the new 12-barrel bomb, which appeared in the early sixties, was developed reactive depth bomb RSL-60.
The RSL-60 bomb was a regular upgrade of previous family ammunition and had a minimum of external differences. The ammunition with a diameter of 212 mm had a length of 1830 mm and a weight of 119 kg. Explosive charge - 23,5 kg. The streamlined bomb, having accelerated in flight, sank at a speed of more than 11 m / s. The effective radius of the explosion did not exceed 5-6. The RSL-60 had one of the most powerful propelling charges, thanks to which it could be used to attack targets at ranges from 300 to 5800.
RGB-60 bomb scheme
The RSL-60 depth bomb was initially used with the shock-dispersed detonator UDV-60, which allowed the ammunition to be detonated at depths up to 450 m. In order to increase the automation of the process of preparing for firing, the fuse received a special five-contact connector, which was used for its initial installation. When the bomb was sent to the bomb-guide barrel, the head fuse connector was connected to the launcher connector. There was a shutdown before the shot.
From 1966, the bombs of the RSL-60 were completed with the acoustic fuse WB-2. As in the case of the VB-1M fuse, the WB-2 product was mounted in the main impact-fuse body. WB-2 can "hear" the target at a distance of up to 6 meters. In addition, the detonation of one of the bombs of the volley activates the acoustic detonators of other bombs located at a distance of 100 m.
In parallel with the RBU-6000 bomber, a similar system, the Smerch-1000 RBU-3, designed for the use of other ammunition, was developed. As a means of destroying the enemy submarines of this complex, the RSL-10 rocket depth bomb was created. The RBU-1000 system had only six barrels, but the difference in the number of bombs in the salvo was supposed to be compensated by the power of the ammunition.
Bombet RBU-1000 on the BOD "Kerch". Photos flot.sevastopol.info
The RSL-10 bomb was larger and heavier than the RSL-60. It had a caliber of 305 mm and a length of 1,7 m. Externally, the bomb was the same: a cylindrical head with a fairing and a relatively thin tail tube with a ring stabilizer. The total weight of the bomb was 196 kg at 80 kg of the explosive of the warhead. Such a powerful charge made it possible to bring the target destruction radius to 8-10 m. The power of the propellant charge allowed the RGB-10 bomb to be launched at a distance of no more than 1000 m. The immersion speed was 11-12 m / s.
Bombs RGB-60 and RGB-10 had the same fuze - shock-remote UDV-60. According to some reports, from the mid-sixties, the RSL-10 was equipped with a combination fuse based on UDV-60 and acoustic WB-2. The use of such systems allows the RSL-10 bomb to explode upon contact with a target, at a short distance from it, or at a predetermined depth.
The development of domestic depth charges lasted for several decades and led to a significant increase in their effectiveness. However, the anti-submarine ammunition we reviewed was based on a relatively small number of ideas. The first domestic depth charges consisted of a barrel with an explosive charge, intended to be dropped overboard or behind the stern of a ship (boat) with the help of various types of dumpers. Then the idea to send a bomb to a certain distance from the ship using a bomb bomb, and the further development of such weapons went along this path. In the late forties, the idea of a bomb bomb began to develop in two directions: one of them meant the use of active systems that shoot a bomb, and the other, jet systems using solid propellant rocket engines.
Already in the late fifties, it became clear that jet systems had the greatest prospects, as a result of which all modern ship bombers were built precisely on this principle. Barrel and barreled barrel bombers, as well as depth charges dropped overboard, were gradually decommissioned.
To date, even jet bombers have gradually approached the highest possible characteristics. Despite the emergence of new systems for detecting and destroying submarines, the firing range of jet depth charges does not exceed several kilometers. The effectiveness of such a shooting also leaves much to be desired: even with the newest anti-submarine bombers, the probability of hitting a target with a volley of bombs does not exceed several tens of percent.
Therefore, it is not at all surprising that in recent decades the navy has chosen to order the industry not jet bombs, but more modern anti-submarine missile systems. It is probably too early to say that the time of depth charges has passed. Nevertheless, they no longer represent a serious and effective weapon capable of having a great influence on the course of the war at sea.
On the materials of the sites:
Shirokorad A.B. Weapons of the domestic fleet. 1945-2000. - Minsk: “Harvest”, 2001