The appearance of torpedo 53-61 was preceded by several preliminary studies and projects, the purpose of which was to test and develop new ideas. So, in 1949 the NII-3 naval fleet developed and tested a combined-cycle torpedo engine based on German developments. As the basis for this product was taken the main machine of the captured Stein Wal torpedo model 1944. The new power plant included several main components: a tank for liquid hydrogen peroxide, fuel supply systems, a solid catalyst, and a piston engine. It was proposed to supply liquid fuel to the catalyst, which led to its decomposition into water and oxygen with the release of a large amount of heat. The resulting vapor-gas mixture was fed into the cylinders of the machines and rotated the propellers. A German torpedo using a similar engine could reach speeds of up to 45 knots and overcome up to 22 km.
After bench tests, the new power plant was mounted on an experimental torpedo, which received the symbol "Alligator". In the early fifties, the straight-running experimental torpedo went through sea tests, which showed the high potential of the engine used. The Alligator torpedo did not go into the series, but the results of its tests later helped to create a new weapon.
General view of the torpedoes 53-61
Calculations and tests have shown that the use of hydrogen peroxide, including in combination with another fuel, can significantly improve the characteristics of the torpedo. By the beginning of the second half of the fifties, on the basis of the available developments, the concept of a peroxide power plant was formed, which was later applied in serial products. It was proposed to decompose hydrogen peroxide with the help of a catalyst, and then burn kerosene in the resulting vapor-gas mixture. The resulting gases could be sent to a piston machine or to a turbine. In both cases, there was a serious increase in performance compared to existing machines. In addition, most of the engine exhaust was water vapor, completely dissolved in seawater. Thus, a torpedo with a hydrogen peroxide engine did not unmask itself with a bubble wake.
Based on existing experience and using the latest technology in the mid-fifties started the development of new weapons. The prospective torpedo received the working designations DBST (“Long-Range Traceless Homing Torpedo”) and “237 Product”. The design of this weapon was carried out by specialists from the branch of the Scientific Research Institute-40 in the city of Lomonosov (now the Scientific Research Institute of Marine Technology) under the direction of V.S. Osipova. Some third-party organizations were involved as developers and suppliers of various equipment. In particular, the head research institute-400, one of the main developers of mine-torpedo weapons in the country, was engaged in control devices.
In the draft DBST it was proposed to combine several new ideas and solutions that have not yet been applied in Soviet torpedoes. The consequence of this was a certain complexity of work. At the same time, the new torpedo should have full compatibility with existing torpedo tubes, which affected some of its design features. So, all new units were inscribed in a cylindrical elongated body with a diameter of 533 mm. The traditional hemispherical head fairing and a tapered tail with stabilizers, rudders and two coaxial propellers have been preserved.
The layout of the 237 Product was also standard for self-guided torpedoes, but adjusted for a new type of powerplant. In the head fairing homing system was located, behind which there was a fighting compartment. The central compartment of the hull was placed under the tanks for hydrogen peroxide, kerosene, oil, etc. In the stern placed control systems with steering machines and all engine units. Due to the use of acoustic homing in the aft of the hull installed noise-reducing devices.
For the new torpedo an active acoustic guidance system was developed, known as the “A” or “Andromeda” equipment. The creation of this system was carried out at SRI-400 under the leadership of A.A. Kostrova. The main elements of the homing system were five emitters mounted in round holes on the torpedo's head fairing. An interesting feature of "Andromeda" was the principle of action. Unlike previous guidance systems for torpedoes, it did not have to search for target noise, but to determine its wakefield trail. Radiating and receiving signals, the system determined one of the edges of the track and began to move along it. The end point of such a movement was the aft part of the surface target ship.
The Andromeda system could detect a wake track at a distance of up to several kilometers from the target. When attacking a ship with a length of 100 m and a draft of 4 m going at a speed of 10-12 nodes, the track detection distance was no less than 400-500 m. With a further increase in the target speed, the water perturbations should increase, increasing the range of the track capture.
Torpedo DBST received a fighting compartment with a charge of weight 305 kg. To ensure that the target was hit, even in the event of some miss, it was proposed to use a non-contact optical fuse (according to other data, a magnetic one) developed by the Scientific Research Institute-400. On the upper part of the torpedo's hull, behind the homing equipment compartment, there was a large transparent "eye" of the target sensor. Fixing a dramatic change in light, the fuse had to undermine the warhead and hit the target. It also offered a practical charging compartment for educational use.
The layout of the torpedo. 1 - homing system; 2 - fighting compartment; 3 - fuse; 4 - non-contact fuse equipment; 5 - control devices; 6 - kerosene tank; 7 - tank for hydrogen peroxide; 8 - engine compartment; 9 - non-contact fuse coil, 10 - air reservoir
In parallel with the torpedo, an alternative combat compartment was developed, designed to solve special tasks. The product ASBZO ("Autonomous special combat charging compartment"), created by SRI-400 and KB-25 of the Ministry of Medium Machine Building, was distinguished by the use of nuclear warheads. The power of the latter was 20 kt, which allowed at times to increase the power of the torpedo and the effectiveness of its use for various purposes.
In the central part of the hull were several tanks for fuel and oxidizer used by the engine. The peroxide turbine engine 2ТФ, created by the Lomonosov branch of the SRI-400, was used as the main torpedo machine DBST. This system included a steam and gas generator to decompose hydrogen peroxide, a combustion chamber for burning kerosene in a steam and gas atmosphere, and a turbine connected to propeller shafts. According to available data, a gas-vapor mixture with a temperature of about 900-950 ° C was fed to the turbine. This allowed the engine to develop power up to 550 kW and to provide high performance torpedo.
The 2ТФ engine was supposed to operate in two modes, differing in power and, as a result, speed of movement. The possibility of moving a torpedo with the speed of 55 or 35 nodes was envisaged. The use of these modes provided the 15 or 22 km range, respectively. At the same time, the standard application of the “237 Product” implied the alternate use of two modes.
The control system DBST was built on the basis of hydrostat and instrument course. Their task was to keep the torpedo at a predetermined depth and starting course until the target’s wake track was detected. Having found the trail, the torpedo passed under the control of the hydrostat and the homing system. In this mode, she could remain at the required depth, but was able to maneuver and point at the found target.
Torpedo DBST could be used as submarines and surface ships. Before using it, it was necessary to load it into the torpedo tube and enter the basic data for firing: the depth and range of the stroke in the first mode. These parameters were determined by torpedoists on the basis of available data on the target. Then a shot followed, after which the torpedo began an independent movement towards the target, maintaining the original course. For a given time, the engine had to operate at maximum speed, accelerating the torpedo to 55 nodes.
Having passed the pre-calculated distance at maximum speed, the torpedo had to slow down to the 35 nodes and begin the search for the wake. The use of five active sonar antennas, placed in a “fan”, made it possible to speed up this process and increase the likelihood of successful completion of the task. Having found the edge of the wake of the target, the torpedo began to move along it. Upon reaching the target and colliding with it, or when passing under the bottom, the warhead was undermined. With the loss of the target’s track, the Andromeda system could continue the search and, once again finding the perturbations of the water, continue to the enemy’s ship.
Aft part of the product
By the autumn of 1957, the development of a new torpedo was completed, after which the assembly of experimental products started. At the end of October of the same year, the first experimental shooting took place on the Black Sea, during which certain shortcomings of various components and assemblies were identified. Debugging torpedoes dbst took a lot of time. To complete the testing of new weapons that meet all the requirements, it was possible only in the early sixties.
All work was completed only in 1961, when the "237 Product" successfully passed the tests and was recommended for adoption. In the same year (according to other data, only in 1962-m) DBST was adopted under the designation 53-61 - torpedo caliber 53, see mod. 1961. Serial production was deployed in Almaty at the S.M. Kirov. In the same year, the nuclear combat unit of the KSPDF was commissioned. At the end of October, 61-th at the sighting station of Issyk-Kul lake were fired two test shots with 53-61 torpedoes with special combat units (with inert equipment). In recognition of their achievements, the DBST project leaders were awarded the Lenin Prize.
In 1964, the modernized torpedo 53-61М was put into service. It differed from the base product by a number of serious improvements. According to some information, the most serious innovation of the 53-61М project is the new homing system. Instead of the Andromeda speaker system, the C-380 optical equipment was installed on the dashboard. She had to find the wake of the target at distances up to several kilometers (at high target speed) and provide guidance to the source of the torpedoes of the waves.
According to some sources, the C-380 system could not cope with the tests and was not accepted for service. Thus, the set of weapons modernization measures proposed by the 53-61М project could not include the installation of new homing tools, and all the improvements affected only other torpedo systems.
In the late sixties, the 53-61 torpedo was again upgraded, resulting in the appearance of the 53-61MA product. No significant modifications to the design, including the replacement of important elements, were made. Almost all changes, apparently, were only technological in nature. Torpedoes with the letters "M" and "MA" were made at the plant to them. Kirov.
Torpedo DBST / "Product 237" / 53-61 was the first domestic weapon of its class, which received a promising peroxide powerplant. In addition, for the first time in domestic practice, a turbine was used instead of a piston machine. All this affected the characteristics of the torpedo, allowing a significant increase in speed and range in comparison with existing samples. Mastering torpedoes arr. 1961 of the year and the further development of technology significantly affected the future of mine and torpedo weapons. The technologies that emerged and developed in the fifties and sixties are still used in new projects.
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