Military Review

Torpedoed super weapon

The idea to create a monster was wrong

Torpedo T-15 remained a legend in stories domestic navy. It disappeared, not having time to appear, however, having formed the appearance of our first submarines. And in nuclear ships of the 627 project, and in the history of the torpedo itself, not only the events of the era, but also sharp personal conflicts were reflected.

With high probability, the author of the idea of ​​the T-15 torpedo and its carrier in the form of a nuclear submarine can be called Captain 1 of rank Alferov, who left behind an ambiguous memory.

Vladimir Ivanovich Alferov (28 July 1904-th - 18 January 1995-th) - Hero of Socialist Labor, doctor of technical sciences, laureate of Lenin and twice State Prize, rear admiral. From 1936 onwards - Head of Department, Deputy Head of the Mine-Torpedo Research Institute of the Navy of the Red Army in Leningrad. In 1938, he was the director of the torpedo plant No. 175 NKSP (B. Tokmak). During the Great Patriotic War - director of the torpedo-building plant number 182 NKSP in Makhachkala, deputy head of the 2-th Main Directorate of the NKSP in Moscow, head of the Main Directorate of shipbuilding and ship repair enterprises NKMF "Glavmorput". From 1946 to 1948 - Deputy Chief of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Navy of the Armed Forces. Vladimir Ivanovich arrived at KB-11 (VNIIEF) in the middle of 1948 and was appointed deputy chief designer, from 1950 - deputy director of KB-11. Indeed, a major and honored specialist in both nuclear and torpedo-related topics. On the other side of the scale - a dubious role in the "admirals". In the book “Such is torpedo life”, the former deputy head of the UPV Navy, R. A. Gusev, wrote that “the evidence was obtained from Alferov in an appropriate way,” but at the same time and in the same case there were those who did not break, for example the head of the Mine of the Navy torpedo control N. I. Shibaev and his deputy B. D. Kostygov, who declared the defendants' innocence to the court.

Black Days

In domestic torpedo building there were three acute crises.

The first is the end of 20-x - the beginning of 30-x. The first submarines of the USSR were left without standard torpedoes of the caliber 53 centimeter, the reliability of which (53-27) was unsatisfactory, and almost until the middle of the 30-x were forced to have weapons old xnumx-see ammo.

The second is the end of the 30s. The unfolded large shipbuilding program also required significant production of torpedoes. Despite the huge amount of money spent, the main developer, Ostekhbyuro, was unable to give the fleet serial product. The issue was under tight control, including Stalin. In the mid-30s, the USSR was forced to purchase a batch of 45- and 53-cm torpedoes at Whitehead's factory in Fiume (Italy) and deploy their production at home. However, the quality of domestic products for a long time was unsatisfactory. The enterprise mastered the mass production of torpedoes just before the war, and failed to provide ammunition for the main theater, as a result of which the Pacific Fleet had to be disarmed during the Great Patriotic War.

The third torpedo crisis - the entry into service at the beginning of the 80-x submarines of the 3-th generation, which turned out to be for several years without weapons. In addition to the acute problems with the USET-80 torpedo itself, the industry was able to organize mass production only in the middle of the 80-s.

Alferov played, being appointed director of the most problematic torpedo plant in the Big Tokmak, a very significant role in resolving the second torpedo crisis. The admirals case, which formally had no basis, was related to the conflict that arose between the command of the Navy and the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the country on a number of issues of military construction (increasing the number of fleets) and domestic plan (distribution of buildings in Moscow) .

Today, an increase in the number of fleets of the USSR Navy is usually regarded as a mistake that has been corrected. However, it is necessary to understand the logic of those events and the conditions in which decisions were made.

In the Great Patriotic Navy showed itself not the best way. If the army by the middle of the war learned to fight, defeated the enemy and came to Berlin, then the actions of the Navy in the Baltic and the Black Sea can hardly be called effective even on the eve of the Victory. And this was due both to the low level of operational management of the fleet in general, and to the "Navy's black day" (October 6 1943) - the death of two destroyers and the leader on the Black Sea. Then, “the relief of the fleet commanders to manage the operation in a dynamically changing environment, to respond adequately to it (but there was no particular dynamics - the ships“ heated ”the 10 hours!). Although after the second strike it became obvious that the ships must be immediately rescued, as they were taken seriously. Perhaps this is the main cause of the catastrophe, the rest is a consequence and particulars. Here we stumble over the quality of operational and tactical training of staff officers, their inability to analyze the evolving situation, anticipate the development of events, and manage forces under the active influence of the enemy. With a dramatic change in the situation, under the conditions of a temporary time pressure, decisions must be made immediately, often without being able to discuss them with colleagues, approve with the superiors, and make comprehensive calculations. And all this is possible, if only the manager, whatever the scale, has not only personal experience, but also real knowledge, ”wrote the first chief of staff of the 5 of the Mediterranean squadron, Vice-Admiral V. Platonov (“ VPK ”, No. 46 2007).

At the same time, the operational group of the Navy Commissariat headed by NG Kuznetsov was in the Black Sea Fleet. In his memoirs, Nikolay Gerasimovich did not shy away from the events of October 6, but his description and assessment are far from real. The Germans stoked the 10 watch ships "in front of" the command of the Black Sea Fleet and the People's Commissar of the Navy. Of course, Nikolai Gerasimovich was distinguished by high authority in the navy and personal qualities, but from the point of view of his effectiveness as commander-in-chief of the Navy, the leadership of the country had questions to him and to many other members of the highest command.

Given the obvious operational inexpediency of splitting fleets, the question of increasing their numbers could have the only rationale - to give new cadres a head and an opportunity to evaluate their leadership during combat training for subsequent assignment. That is, the decision to increase a certain logic and resistance to this command of the Navy caused a sharp negative reaction from the leadership.

The domestic part of the conflict arose in the “House No. 2” of the General Staff (in the Big Zlatoustinsky Lane in the center of Moscow), where, until very recently, the headquarters of the Navy were stationed. The deputy minister of defense Bulganin gave the command to the NK Navy to vacate the building without allocating other premises, the commander-in-chief appealed to Stalin. As a result, "house number 2" was preserved for the Navy, but became a prerequisite for the conflict between Bulganin and Kuznetsov.

Cause and effect

To address the issue (in the spirit of the time), Alferov's letter was used about the allegedly illegal transfer of documentation to the 45-36AB-A aviators during the war. It was the reason for the unjust “court of honor” over admirals Kuznetsov, Haller, Alafuzov and Stepanov. They decided to petition the USSR Council of Ministers to consider the case by the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court. 3 February 1948, admirals were convicted. Only the dismissed Kuznetsov, lowered in rank to Rear Admiral, remained at liberty.

Torpedoed super weapon

The history of this “court of honor” is still a dirty spot on the fleet. It is not clear, for example, why the fleet does not have the ship “Memory of Mercury” or “Amur” (achieved the greatest combat success in the history of our fleet!), Why the scandalous renaming of the VCR “Vilyuchinsk” to “Tver” occurred, but there are 1 ships in the Navy. rank with the names of Levchenko and Kulakov (members of the "court of honor" and in general people with a very ambiguous track record). The naval barbers have long won the theme of the “Kuznetsov” aircraft carrier under the “escort” of the Levchenko and Kulakov BOD. Very black humor ...

From January 20 1951, N. G. Kuznetsov again heads the fleet as the USSR naval minister. After the “court of honor” attitude to its formal initiator Alferov was appropriate. Despite the formation in the General Staff of the 6 Division (on nuclear issues), the specifics of personal relationships influenced the decisions made no less than the issues of the regime.

At the same time, the USSR, having tested the first nuclear device in 1949, faced the extremely acute issue of its delivery to the enemy's territory, which not only exceeded the nuclear potential by tens and hundreds of times, but also had developed and reliable nuclear warheads. With an absolutely real threat of war, the work of creating parity went on a broad front and in the most intensive way. The missiles became a breakthrough here, but at the end of the 40-x and the beginning of the 50-x they just grew out of the German backlog of Fow-1, and in this situation any means that ensured reliable delivery of nuclear warheads to the enemy’s territory were of interest. The nuclear submarine with a nuclear torpedo at that time was satisfying the task. Thus, the start was given to the development of the T-15 and the carrier, the nuclear submarine of the 627 project.

The caliber of the first Russian nuclear warhead was one and a half meters, the task of creating small-sized nuclear ammunition was put and the work was done, but in a situation where the result was needed as soon as possible, the initial size was taken for the torpedo (probably, considering the imminent appearance of powerful thermonuclear nuclear warheads). It can be added that the first tests of the small-sized nuclear warheads for 53-cm torpedoes failed unsuccessfully - undermining the initiation scheme did not lead to a nuclear chain reaction. One member of the commission, academician E. A. Negin, recalled: “After a trip to the place of the failed atomic explosion of Kurchatov, Malyshev, Zernov, Khariton and other participants, we gathered in the dungeon and began to calmly understand the reasons for the refusal. Suddenly, a certain colonel of state security appears. In a cap, polished, with needles. Trumped and appeals to V. A. Malyshev, our minister: “Comrade Minister. If I understand correctly, there was a failure? ”. "You understand correctly." “Let me start the investigation?” We all somehow felt bad. ”

Myth number 1. SuperTX and heavy duty charge

The first “super torpedo”, of course, is the Japanese “Long Lance” Type 93 (1933) caliber 61 centimeter, which had exceptional TTX for its time due to the powerful energy of kerosene-oxygen and increased caliber. A comparative analysis of the characteristics shows that the T-15 not only did not have outstanding TTX, but was also significantly inferior to the torpedoes of Long Lance and T-65. The reason for this is the use of weak energy in an electric power plant with a heavy lead-acid battery. But this solution was not alternative in view of the task of placing a large-sized heavy nuclear warhead.

With a more optimal organization of the process - close cooperation between the Navy and organizations - developers of the nuclear weapons fleet - an obvious solution was initially suggested: a torpedo of increased caliber, but in dimensions that ensured normal conditions for deployment and use on submarines. As a result, this decision came (Resolution of the USSR Council of Ministers on the development of a promising shock torpedo T-65 caliber 650 millimeters from 4 March 1958 of the year). However, the X-NUMX-cm torpedo T-65 was significantly delayed not only by the first generation of nuclear submarines, but also by the second. It is highly likely that if it were not for the sharp conflict between Alferov and the Navy, the T-65 would have appeared much earlier and, obviously (in the oxygen version), could have entered service for the first-generation submarines. This solution provided a dramatic increase in the combat capabilities of the submarine forces of the USSR Navy, and not only when performing shock tasks. Even the 65-53K oxygen torpedo was inferior in effective range to the American Asrok anti-submarine missile system. That is, in favorable conditions of hydrology, our submarine, not having had time to go into the position of a volley, received head-on with an Asrok club. "Thick torpedo" allowed us to have a reliable gain in the effective shooting range.

Here it should be noted that modern western 53-cm torpedoes almost reached the level of transport characteristics of T-65.

When evaluating the power of a TBCN-15, it is often a mistake to identify it with Sakharov's “superbomb”. At the time of the beginning of the creation of the T-15, the development of nuclear fusion nuclear weapons was just beginning, and the maximum that could really be expected was an analogue of the IBCh ICBM P-7.

Myth number 2. Unreal product

Opinion about the unreality of the project T-15 is usually based on the statement that it could not have been fired from a submarine, since it would inevitably turn over from the loss of longitudinal stability. Of course, this is not the case; the developers of the 627 project and the T-15 torpedoes were highly qualified engineers. Of course, a product shot with a mass of about 40 tons, and from the tip, is a significant perturbation of the “carrier-product” system. However, the planned design solutions removed this problem:

- in contrast to the overwhelming majority of domestic torpedoes, which had a significant over-burdening, the T-15 should have a near-zero buoyancy to ensure self-escape from the torpedo tube and minimal disturbing effects on the submarine;
-torpedo apparatus for T-15 had an increased (over two meters) caliber to ensure samovoda T-15;
-The first-time "cetacean" contours of the nasal tip of the 627 project were determined by the T-15 self-emitter (ensuring the necessary uniformity of flow in the area of ​​the breakwater shield of a large torpedo tube).

Thus, from the technical side, the “627 project carrier –T-15 product” complex was absolutely real and a significant limitation of performance and speed characteristics was deliberately made to implement in a short time. Hence the conclusions.

T-15 was primarily the result of hypertrophied secrecy and acute personal conflict involved in the case. The fact that the development was discontinued is a consequence of not technical, but exclusively conceptual problems of the project. Because of this, she not only stalled herself, but also for a long time brought all the Navy's attack torpedoes there. Instead of the domestic "Long Lance" they made a monster, but in the end they remained with the 53-cm caliber, which already at the beginning of the 60-s significantly lost to the Asrok anti-submarine complex in the distance.

T-65 torpedo trials launched in 1962 year. November 23 The X-NUMX torpedo T-1963 for the first time passed the distance of 65 kilometers at a speed of 50 nodes. State tests were conducted on Lake Ladoga from 50 on July 2, and successfully completed on October 1965. After that, the torpedo waited another eight years for the carrier. It turned out that the development time of the T-27 and the creation of carrier ships were broken, and the main reason for this was the work in the T-65 basket.

Have conclusions been drawn from these errors? Far from being a fact, given the fact that today the experience of T-65 (65-76), which for the first time have realized long torpedo shooting distances, are trying hard to forget, and some experts say that a torpedo is a melee weapon and does not need a range.

Another conclusion: no technical tricks are able to correct the initially vicious plan. The concept should not be a bundle of paper, but a mockup sample. Investing in development work without the necessary scientific and technical background and proven concept - not only to break deadlines, but also to significantly limit the actual performance characteristics, not to mention the diversion of resources from solving urgent problems and problems.


9 September 1952 of the year. The USSR Council of Ministers adopted a resolution No. 4098-1616 on the design and construction of an “627 object” with a T-15 torpedo with an atomic combat charging compartment for strikes against coastal targets.

12 August 1953 of the year. The first hydrogen bomb in the world, the Soviet RDS-6, was blown up.

December 21 1953 of the year. The tactical and technical elements of the submarine have been approved (without the involvement of naval specialists).

July 1954 of the year. Completed the development of a technical project.

18 October 1954 of the year. The Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee invites the Ministry of Defense to consider the draft and submit its opinion to the Council of Ministers. Only then was the question of admission to the project specialists and command of the Navy. An expert commission headed by Vice-Admiral A. E. Orel was formed. The very concept of a submarine with a single nuclear "super-torpedo" caused reasonable doubts of naval specialists. Based on the results of the Navy’s comments, it was decided to modify the 627 technical design.

26 March 1955 of the year. Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers No. 588-364 approved the revised design of the 627 submarine of the 533 project with 5-mm torpedo tubes (which ensured the use of T-15 torpedoes with nuclear warheads). Work on the torpedo T-XNUMX discontinued.

21 September 1955 of the year. At the Novaya Zemlya test site, tests of the atomic BSO (combat charging compartment) of T-5 torpedoes were conducted. The BSO was lowered from the minesweeper and blown up at a depth of 12 meters; its capacity was three kilotons of TNT.

February 1957 of the year. The development of ASBZO (autonomous special combat charging compartments) for serial models of torpedoes with a capacity of 20 kilotons in KB-25 Minsredmash of the USSR and scientific research institutes-400 of the USSR Ministry of Food and Industry started.

1957 year. State tests of torpedoes T-5. Two sighting shots without nuclear warheads were conducted, one in the control configuration (with nuclear warheads, but without fissile materials in it), and one more - in combat (with nuclear warheads).

10 October 1957 of the year. The submarine of the 613 C-144 project under the command of the captain of the 1 rank G. V. Lazarev fired a T-5 torpedo (from YaBP) from a stern torpedo tube to the 10 distance of kilometers. The tests were successful.

1958 year. The Navy adopted the T-5 torpedo.

1960 year. The 533-millimeter DSP began to enter service. Adoption of TSSDFB was the basis for the cessation of development for special nuclear torpedoes.

10 and October 23 1961 of the year. Special exercises have been carried out with the execution of actual firing of torpedoes from the YaBP (DPS) with various settings for actuation and power. At the same time, tests were conducted with verification of the actual operations (nuclear explosions) of operational-tactical weapons of the Ground Forces, medium-range missile weapons, strategic and tactical weapons of the Navy.

31 October 1961 of the year. Samples of experienced Monsredmash thermonuclear charges were tested, including a record 100 megaton bomb tested for half power.

Thus, for the entire period of nuclear testing on the surface of the earth and in the water, with the participation of the Navy, four nuclear explosions were made (prototype of the nuclear warhead of the T-5 torpedoes, the torpedo of the T-5 torpedoes and two D allotments). Against the background of similar works in the USA, the result is quite modest. Only after the termination of ground-based nuclear tests, the Navy realized that it did not have time (including for the United States) to check the deep-sea nuclear explosion and use the standard nuclear warhead from ships to short distances. In the States, it was an impressive demonstration of firing a combat anti-submarine missile with a nuclear warhead from a destroyer at a 3,5 kilometer in 1962.
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  1. antiexpert
    antiexpert 14 May 2016 08: 07
    here it is, in the museum))
    1. Alex_Rarog
      Alex_Rarog 14 May 2016 09: 36
      It’s interesting, is there anything else newer and more compact for submariners !?
  2. aiw
    aiw 14 May 2016 10: 09
    So ... how much could they go forward if they had not been biting? If the country's governance system was built on healthy competition and not on an undercover fight against sending the loser to the Gulag?
    1. Mooh
      Mooh 14 May 2016 13: 34
      As practice has shown, sending a loser to the Gulag is a great incentive for creativity wink
      1. doework
        doework 15 May 2016 22: 41
        Not at all funny ...
        Following this logic, we can conclude that there is a complete inability to work without a threat to life / freedom and hard pressure ... and if this is really so, what could be the future of our country?
      2. raf
        raf 23 May 2016 22: 01
        Quote: MooH
        As practice has shown, sending a loser to the Gulag is a great incentive for creativity wink

        How would you like to sing this "stimulus" to you? "
  3. xtur
    xtur 14 May 2016 14: 19
    interesting article, thanks to the author
  4. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 26 May 2016 22: 14
    Very informative, respect to the author.
  5. Zulu_S
    Zulu_S 16 July 2016 18: 55
    I wonder what would have happened if we combined the ekranoplan project (see Dry cargo ship Montana, VO, 14.07.2016) and the T-15 in the modern version?