Military Review

Torpedo 53-56 and its modifications

New technologies and technical solutions can significantly improve the performance of weapons or military equipment. However, their development is always associated with many difficulties, which often prevents the full implementation of all plans. In addition, in the development of new technologies should be kept secret. In some cases, this leads to curious consequences, as was the case with the Soviet torpedo 53-56. The basic modification of this product was the first domestic torpedo with an oxygen engine, and later versions remained in stories as the last vapor-gas torpedoes. The reason for this was precisely the secrecy and problems with the new units.

In the late forties and the early fifties, Soviet experts analyzed the captured German documentation, and also conducted their own research. On the basis of their own and borrowed experience, as well as using ready-made units, new types of torpedo weapons were created. It is this approach, in particular, has allowed to improve the existing electric torpedoes, as well as create the first domestic torpedo with a homing system. One of the main areas of work at the same time was the creation of new power plants with enhanced performance.

Back in the mid-forties, shortly after the end of the Great Patriotic War, the specialists of the Research Mine Research and Torpedo Institute (NIMTI) took up the theme of oxygen heat engines. Such power plants were a further development of existing combined-cycle machines and had to differ from them by some features. In particular, the use of pure oxygen instead of compressed air made it possible to eliminate the release of the vapor-gas mixture, which forms a trace of bubbles on the surface of the water. Thus, the oxygen engine, like the electric one, made it possible to create a new traceless torpedo, which did not reveal its location and did not unmask the carrier submarine.

Torpedo 53-56 and its modifications
Torpedo 53-56В - outwardly no different from 53-56 KITI. Photo

Around the late forties or early fifties in NIMTI a preliminary draft of a promising torpedo with a new power plant was developed. This project passed a series of necessary checks, after which an experienced torpedo of the 533 mm caliber was manufactured. The prototype was tested, the results of which were determined further development of the existing project. Shortly after the completion of this stage of work, the project was transferred to the design office of the plant No. XXUMX (formerly “Red Progress”, Tokmak). Further development of the new project was carried out precisely by this organization with some assistance from the relevant institutions. The project of a promising oxygen torpedo has received the symbol “Item 175”. AB was appointed chief designer. Topolyansky.

Work on the new project took several years and lasted until the mid-fifties. During this time, the main issues relating to the design of the power plant were resolved, and the proposed technical solutions were also checked. By the middle of the decade, the project was ready for assembly and testing of experienced torpedoes. According to reports, the development of a new weapons Difficult because of the difficulties with the development of a new type of engine. In this case, the existing product was taken as the basis for the car of the new torpedo. The oxygen heat engine was created on the basis of the steam-gas torpedo machine 53-51. Despite the use of ready-made units, the transfer of the engine to a new oxidizer was associated with certain problems.

The first version of the 227 Product was supposed to be a “traditional” straight torpedo without homing systems. It was assumed the use of an oxygen heat engine that provides movement without a trace on the water. Thus, in terms of design, the new torpedo could be considered a recycled version of the existing weapons of previous models.

Torpedo new type received a standard cylindrical body with a hemispherical head and a tapered tail fairing. On the latter, an X-shaped structure with rudders was provided, inside which two coaxial propellers were placed. The layout of the internal volumes was also traditional. A fighting compartment with an explosive charge and a fuse was placed at the head of the hull, behind them was a large tank for compressed oxygen. The aft compartment contained tanks for kerosene, fresh water and oil, as well as a steam and gas generator, engine and control equipment. The torpedo had a caliber of 53 cm and a total length of 7,45 m. The weight of the product assembly reached 1900 kg.

"The product 227" received a fighting compartment with 400-kg charge. To undermine the charge, it was proposed to use a new non-contact optical fuse type HB-57. This product was supposed to initiate the undermining of the warhead during the passage of a torpedo at a short distance from the target. In response to changes in the light falling on the sensor, the fuse had to detect the target and give a command to undermine it. With this, small mistakes were compensated.

The layout of the torpedo 53-56. Figure Shirokorad A.B. Weapon domestic fleet. 1945-2000.

In the stern compartment of the torpedo there was an oxygen heat engine created based on the 53-51 torpedo machine. This device included a steam and gas generator and a piston machine with two horizontal cylinders connected to a crank mechanism and two coaxial propellers. During operation, the steam and gas generator of the engine had to burn kerosene (oxygen was used as an oxidizer), and then mix the resulting gas with fresh water. The resulting vapor-gas mixture was fed into the cylinders and interacted with the pistons, rotating the propeller shafts.

The applied powerplant allowed the "277 Product" to reach speeds up to 50 units. If necessary, it was possible to set a different mode of operation of the machine, in which the speed reached only 40 nodes. In the first mode, the range was 8 km, on the second - up to 13 km.

For the torpedo "Product 227" was developed a new equipment, responsible for keeping at a given course and at the right depth. The principles of its work, according to available data, remained the same. The hydrostat was responsible for controlling the depth, and a gyroscopic device was used to track the course change. When determining deviations from the desired course, these devices issued commands to the steering cars, which returned the torpedo to the correct position.

In 1955-56, Plant No. 175 completed the design work, after which it produced experienced torpedoes of a new type. Tests ended successfully, after which the torpedo was adopted. In accordance with the nomenclature adopted at that time, the product received a new designation 53-56 - torpedo caliber 53 cm, arr. 1956 d. In addition, the name 53-56 KIT (“Oxygen Torpedo”) is found, referring to the first modification of the product. Serial production of such weapons was entrusted to the plant to them. CM. Kirov (Alma-Ata).

According to some reports, the full-fledged mass production of new torpedoes did not begin immediately. By the time the serial torpedoes began to be assembled, the 53-56 project retained some of the flaws that had to be eliminated after official adoption. All these problems affected the main characteristics of the weapon, as well as its reliability. It took some time to correct the deficiencies and master the production of efficient weapons, after which the delivery of torpedoes to the fleet started. The surface ships and submarines of various types equipped with 53-cm torpedo tubes became the carriers of new torpedoes.

Torpedo 53-56 differed from the previous domestic weapons in its class higher performance, provided the new power plant. For this reason, it was decided to leave the basic version of the 53-56 KIT only for arming the Soviet fleet. For export, in turn, it was proposed to supply products of a new modification. According to others, it was proposed to develop a new project due to technical problems with existing weapons. The development of a new version of weapons started in the early sixties in the design bureau of the plant number XXUMX. This project has received the designation 175-53В or "Item 56".

Piston engine used on 53-51 and 53-56 torpedoes of various modifications. Photo

The base project 53-56, as well as the existing combined-cycle torpedoes 53-56ПМ and 53-39 were taken as the basis for the 53-51В product. Almost the entire structure was borrowed from the oxygen torpedo, with the exception of some elements of the power plant, which were taken from the 53-39PM and 53-51. So, instead of an oxygen tank, an 647-liter compressed air tank was installed. Other containers remained in place. As a result, a new torpedo with a steam-gas heat engine appeared, which, unlike the oxygen one, was no longer a secret, and was also tested in practice. The consequence of this approach to design was a slight reduction in performance.

Torpedo 53-56В differed from the oxygen prototype with a total length, increased to 7,74 m. Caliber and weight, including the mass of the fighting compartment, remained the same. The torpedo speed was 40 or 50 nodes. Due to the lower efficiency of the combined-cycle engine compared to oxygen, the maximum range of the new torpedo was only 8 km. At maximum speed range was reduced by half.

After passing all the necessary tests, the 53-56B torpedo was put into service and put into mass production. In addition, it was offered to foreign customers. Exact information about the supply of 53-56In foreign countries are not available. According to some reports, similar weapons were ordered by India, but other sources mention that torpedoes of other modifications were supplied to the Indian Navy.

There is information about the use of torpedoes 53-56V the navy of the Soviet Union. In our country, this weapon was used for training purposes and was considered as a cheap analogue of the oxygen 53-56 KIT. Thus, the fleet was given the opportunity to train personnel and conduct combat training activities without consuming relatively expensive torpedoes. In addition, in some sources it is mentioned that the new combined-cycle torpedo differed from the oxygen prototype in greater reliability, which could also affect the approaches to the operation of weapons.

In the mid-sixties, the Yugoslav naval forces ordered the Soviet Union to develop a modification of the 53-56B torpedo with a homing system. The development of such weapons was entrusted to SRI-400 (now the Central Research Institute "Gidropribor"). This project received the designation "Product 274" or 53-56BA.

Torpedo 53-56BA. Clearly visible mounting circuit cover hydroacoustic antenna. Photo

To fulfill the order of a friendly state, we had to significantly rework the design of the base product. Thus, the fighting compartment was reduced, and in the released volume they installed a homing system similar to that used on other torpedoes of the time. The head fairing of the case received a straightened front part, on which a hydroacoustic antenna with several receivers was mounted. To reduce the level of interference, the antenna was covered with an additional light fairing. According to reports, the homing system provided a search for a target only in one plane and reacted to the target at a distance of up to 600 m. Thus, the torpedo could only be used against surface ships.

The 53-56BA self-guided torpedo was equipped with a reduced fighting compartment with a 260 kg weight. Due to this and some other improvements, the total weight of the weapon was reduced to 1875 kg. To ensure the operation of homing and reduce the noise of its own units, the power of the main machine was reduced, which led to a reduction in speed. The “274 product” could go to the target at a node speed of 29 or 32. In this case, the range was 11 or 10 km, respectively.

Adaptation of the existing homing systems to installation on a steam-gas torpedo was associated with a number of noticeable problems. Because of this, in particular, the deadlines for delivery of the finished product to the customer in the face of the Navy of Yugoslavia shifted several times. After a number of difficulties, work was completed only in 1966. Then the customer sent the first batch of serial torpedoes. Subsequently, the 53-56BA products were ordered by India. There is also information about the supply of similar torpedoes of the Soviet Navy.

The first torpedo of the 53-56 family was put into service in the mid-fifties. In the future, new modifications of this weapon, differing in the type of power plant and the use of homing. The weapons of all three modifications were delivered to the domestic fleet, and products with the letters “B” and “BA” were also sent for export. It is known that the production of such torpedoes lasted until at least the mid-seventies. In service with the Soviet Navy, they remained until the beginning or mid-eighties.

When developing torpedoes of the 53-56 family, a number of important design problems were solved, which led to the development of new technologies and the emergence of weapons with high performance. Thus, the basic product of the 53-56 KIT line remained in the history of domestic mine-torpedo armament as the first production torpedo with an oxygen heat engine. In the future, similar power plants were used on a number of other torpedoes, some of which are still in use. The last torpedo of the family, 53-56BA, also took an interesting place in history. It was the last domestic torpedo equipped with a steam-gas engine. By the mid-sixties, when it was developed, such power plants were already considered obsolete. Subsequently, the torpedo armament designers switched to newer and more sophisticated systems, the creation of which actively used developments under the 53-36 KIT project.

Based on:
Shirokorad A.B. Weapons of the domestic fleet. 1945-2000. - Minsk: “Harvest”, 2001
Gusev R.A. Such is the torpedo life. - S.-PB.: Willow, 2003
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  1. mine
    mine April 4 2016 12: 05
    another stupid nonsense
    the first torpedo independently developed by the MZK - 53-65K, and the "fantasy" affluor of 53-56 on his "conscience"

    well, other "fantasy" in almost every paragraph

    Taking into account the general "garbage" of sources and the opus itself, Gusev's data (the only normal source from the above) would honestly be cited not in the form of a "rehash by Caruso Rabinovich", but in the form of a formalized quote

    Sources of the "military" typeВrush "is generally alessss

    PS however, the administration of the resource is interested in just such an illiterate grass - to "feed" the hamsters living here (a significant part)
  2. Saling
    Saling April 4 2016 12: 36
    wink Another spacing from from mina. Request to the site administration: give the person the opportunity to publish their articles, and not to comment. The topic of mine-torpedo weapons is very rare and new articles, especially from another source, will be very interesting and useful.
  3. mine
    mine April 4 2016 12: 59
    Quote: Saling
    give the person the opportunity to publish their articles,

    I don’t care about publications here, articles have already been published on a bunch of resources (Courage, MIC,, Arsenal of the fatherland, Export of arms, etc.) - who really need to can easily find all this (there is also here,
    but I didn’t upload it).
    Was the administration offered for publication? Yes, - "no interest". As the saying goes -" master master ", I want to spread and chew poop Ryabov," Ynzhyner-technologist "," Fomina ", etc. -" forward and with a song. "Apparently this is the foreign policy of the resource, which is intended for" people hawala ".

    Not even a minus in the reputation is funny, a similar reaction of a stupid hamster is nothing but laughing and does not cause contempt, and repeated lamentations in the comments of my articles that they are "too difficult to understand" laughing
    1. Saling
      Saling April 4 2016 14: 34
      Just do not care, then why waste time and nerves on commenting on articles here? wink
      Understanding this will not add to others fool winked It is better to spend this time creating new articles on other sites. hi
      1. mine
        mine April 4 2016 15: 16
        Quote: Saling
        do not care, then why waste time and nerves commenting on articles here?

        Practice shows that "smearing the forehead with brilliant green" is so necessary. At least "on the run with the left hind paw" (as now :))
        Military science requires a serious attitude towards itself. If these afftors wrote "about ballet" - I would absolutely not care about them.
        But military affairs are another matter, and information and level should be worthy (taking into account regime restrictions, of course).
        As for the "opupey" published on this site, half a year ago I saw a fucking plagiarism of one local "opus" in a scientific collection of one of the Moscow universities, - the situation is clear - the "military student" stupidly ripped off the Internet BRED, and the "respected professions" put his signature and loaded this game in the VAK collection.

  4. mine
    mine April 4 2016 14: 09
    53-56ВА ... There is also information about the supply of such torpedoes of the Navy of the USSR.

    what "information"?!?!? picking the afftor with a finger in ... e?
    and did not try to think at least a little? - why the heck of the Navy in the 70s, a homing torpedo with the performance characteristics of the "Tsaukening" WWII

    The latter provided X-shaped rudder construction

    hmm ... game enchanting

    non-contact optical fuse type HB-57. This product was supposed to initiate the detonation of the warhead during the passage of a torpedo at a small distance from the target. Responding to a change in the light entering the sensor, the fuse had to detect the target and give a command to detonate. With this compensated for small misses.

    affftor, did you think a little bit during this flogging nonsense?
    very unlikely ...
  5. fomin
    fomin April 4 2016 15: 39
    mina is a feminine thing, it is not clear whether we are dealing with a hysterical, dissatisfied woman, or (God save) with some kind of "furious" homosexual.
    1. mine
      mine April 4 2016 15: 45
      Monsieur, I'm just so dumb individuals how YOU are used to "treating" "creep in flight" (as once in the VVMU nailed krysakov)

      so run the hamster into your bathroom, but don't get drowned, the price of your "packs" is pipifax

      Well, about the fact that Monsieur fomin is trite stupidly pisses with his real name, I’m not talking
  6. mine
    mine April 4 2016 17: 35
    Quote: fomin
    "furious" homosexual.

    by the way YOUR "friend" Suvalov looks like "one of these"
    Has he already "nailed" YOU? laughing
  7. mine
    mine April 4 2016 18: 02
    The USA received two 53-56s with nuclear warheads in the form of trophies from the K-129 (BK 4 SET-53 and 2 53-56 with "redheads")
  8. fomin
    fomin April 5 2016 10: 01
    mina, dear, you are a clear victim of the spring aggravation, look ha..m don’t choke.
    1. mine
      mine April 5 2016 12: 12
      Monsieur fomin, do not worry - this is shit (opuses) you will eat YOU with Ryabov, a couple laughing