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Vaman
09 Dec 03,, 05:50
The Shkval


The Shkval (Squall) is the revolutionary new breed of torpedo in use by Russian Naval forces.

The Shkval is the first use of supercavitational technology in modern weapons and represents perhaps the largest leap forward in underwater warfare since the invention of the submarine itself.

Launched from Bars (Akula) and Antyey (Oscar) class submarines, Shkval torpedoes travel at over five times the speed of conventional torpedoes. Propelled forward by a rocket engine, there are no countermeasures or defenses which can stop the Shkval.

]http://www.deepangel.com/assets/images/censquall1.jpg

Research on developing a self propelled supercavitational projectile began in the early 1960’s at the Ukrainian Institute of Hydromechanics. It took over a decade for the fundamental problems to be solved, during which time, the sound barrier is believed to have been first broken underwater. The research led to the construction of underwater supercavitating rifles for use by elite Russian Spetznaz troops, and in the mid 1970's to the creation of the world’s first supercavitating torpedo.

http://www.deepangel.com/assets/images/censquall3.jpg

First appearing in 1977, the original VA-111 Shkval is some 26 ft (8 m) long and is thought to have a range of around 5 miles (8 kms). Believed by some to be unguided, sources differ on whether the torpedo is nuclear capable. The Shkval is propelled forward by a solid rocket motor. Traveling at over 300 mph (500km/h) the Shkval is so fast that (despite being equipped with one) it does not even require a warhead! Its sheer mass and velocity is enough to sink an opposing submarine.

Development of the Shkval has continued through the 1980’s and 1990’s to the present day. Very little information is available about the Shkval II, the existence of which was made public by the Russian government in 1998. Rumours state a top speed of possibly 450+ mph (720 kph/h) and a vastly improved range, believed by some to be in the region of 60+ miles (100 km). The fact that the Shkval II is guided renders it vastly superior to the original Shkval. The Shkval II is thought to be able to supercavitate, then if need be slow down and reacquire its target, before speeding up and homing in for the kill. Yet newer techniques developed by Ukrainian scientists are believed to offer the possibility for high speed supercav guidance and maneuvering.

The Russian Navy has always pursued a different approach to the United States ‘run silent, run deep’ philosophy on submarine warfare. Placing more emphasis on speed rather than silence, it appears the Russians may have backed the winning horse.

Picture this scenario... A Los Angeles class and a Russian Akula Class submarine hunt each other. The Los Angeles is first to fire, releasing a conventional Mark 48 torpedo into the water. Upon launch of the Mark 48 a retaliatory VA-111 Shkval is fired down the trajectory of the incoming torpedo, straight at the Los Angeles class, forcing it to maneuver and thus cut the guidance wire to its own fish! Furthermore, the close range of modern submarine engagements would in all likelihood result in the Los Angeles class being incapable of maneuvering out of the path of the Shvkal in the fleeting few seconds between launch and impact.


Because of this ability the Shkval has often been classed as a defensive weapon, used to protect against the Russians inability to run as silent as opposing submarines. Such ideas, however, have been put to rest with the creation of the Shkval II and further guided variants.

With their longer ranger, the Shkval II and newer variants could potentially be launched at a distance of over 60 miles, and home in on their target, with no countermeasures available. As such, a single nuclear equipped Shkval could take out a carrier battle group whilst sitting tens of miles away.

Little is known of current Russian Shkval projects, other than the amazing potential which supercavitational projectiles hold. The capacity to create a supercavitating torpedo/rocket which would race towards a target underwater and then become airborne once nearing a coastline would render any kind of anti ballistic missile shield useless.

The Russian Navy is the primary user of the Shkval.

A downgraded Shkval, the Shkval-E went to an international arms fairs in 1995, and both China, Iran and France have been known to have acquired limited numbers of Shkvals. The Russian press has claimed that the technology of the Shkval cannot be reverse-engineered and thus the Russian Navy is marketing the export variant aggressively.

The Shkval rocket torpedo represents the first step in the underwater revolution which is fast approaching. As funds pour into supercavitational research around the world it becomes more and more clear that control of supercavitation will soon equate to control of the seas.

And this from globalsecurity:


BA-111 Shkval underwater rocket
In 1995 it was revealed that Russia had developed an exceptionally high-speed unguided underwater missile which has no equivalent in the West. Code-named the Shkval (Squall), the new weapon travels at a velocity that would give a targeted vessel very little chance to perform evasive action. The missile has been characterized as a "revenge" weapon, which would be fired along the bearing of an incoming enemy torpedo. The Shkval may be considered a follow-on to the Russian BGT class of evasion torpedoes, which are fired in the direction of an incoming torpedo to try to force an attacking to evade (and hopefully snap the torpedo's guidance wires). The weapon was deployed in the early 1990s, and had been in service for years when the fact of its existence was disclosed.

Development begain in the 1960s, when the Research Institute NII-24 (Chief Designer Mikhail Merkulov) involved in the artillery ammunition research was instructed to launch the development of underwater high-speed missile to fight nuclear-powered submarines. On 14 May 1969, pursuant to a government resolution, NII-24 and GSKB-47 merged into the Research Institute of Applied Hydromechanics (NII PGM), which formed the basis of the present day 'Region' Scientific Production Association. Advances in the development of jet engines and fuel technologies, as well as outstanding results in the research of body motion under cavitation made it possible to design a unique missile with a dived speed much greater than that of conventional torpedoes.

When the suction on the low-pressure side of the propeller blade dips below ambient pressure [atmospheric plus hydrostatic head] the propeller blade cavitates -- a vacuum cavity forms. There is water vapor in the cavity, and the pressure is not a true vacuum, but equal to the vapor pressure of the water. High-speed propellers are often designed to operate in a fully-cavitating (supercavitating) mode.

A high speed supercavitating projectile, while moving in the forward direction, rotates inside the cavity. This rotation leads to a series of impacts between the projectile tail and the cavity wall. The impacts affect the trajectory as well as the stability of motion of the projectile. The present paper discusses the in-flight dynamics of such a projectile. Despite the impacts with the cavity wall, the projectile nearly follows a straight line path. The frequency of the impacts between the projectile tail and cavity boundary increases initially, reaches a maximum, and then decreases gradually. The frequency of impacts decreases with the projectile's moment of inertia.

Apparently fired from standard 533mm torpedo tubes, Shkval has a range of about 7,500 yards. The weapon clears the tube at fifty knots, upon which its rocket fires, propelling the missile through the water at 360 kph [about 100 m/sec / 230 mph / 200-knots], three or four times as fast as conventional torpedoes. The solid-rocket propelled "torpedo" achieves high speeds by producing a high-pressure stream of bubbles from its nose and skin, which coats the torpedo in a thin layer of gas and forms a local "envelope" of supercavitating bubbles. Carrying a tactical nuclear warhead initiated by a timer, it would destroy the hostile submarine and the torpedo it fired. The Shkval high-speed underwater missile is guided by an auto-pilot rather than by a homing head as on most torpedoes.

There are no evident countermeasures to such a weapon, its employment could put adversary naval forces as a considerable disadvantage. One such scenario is a rapid attack situation wherein a sudden detection of a threat submarine is made, perhaps at relatively short range, requiring an immediate response to achieve weapon on target and to ensure survival. Apparently guidance is a problem, and the initial version of the Shkval was unguided However, the Russians have been advertising a homing version, which runs out at very high speed, then slows to search.

A prototype of the modernised "Shkval", which was exhibited at the 1995 international armaments show in Abu Dhabi, was discarded. An improved model was designed with a conventional (non-nuclear) warhead and a guided targeting system, which substantially enhances its combat effectiveness. The first tests of the modernised Shkval torpedo were held by the Russian Pacific Fleet in the spring of 1998.

The 'Region' Scientific Production Association has developed developed an export modification of the missile, 'Shkval-E'. Russia began marketing this conventionally armed version of the Shkval high-speed underwater rocket at the IDEX 99 exhibition in Abu Dhabi in early 1999. The concept of operations for this missile requires the crew of a submarine, ship or the coast guard define the target's parameters -- speed, distance and vector -- and feeds the data to the missile's automatic pilot. The missile is fired, achieves its optimum depth and switches on its engines. The missile does not have a homing warhead and follows a computer-generated program.

On 05 April 2000 the Russian Federal Security Service [FSB] in Moscow arrested an American businessman, Edmond Pope, and a Russian accomplice, on charges of stealing scientific secrets. A FSB statement said it confiscated "technical drawings of various equipment, recordings of his conversations with Russian citizens relating to their work in the Russian defense industry, and receipts for American dollars received by them." Pope, a retired US Navy captain who spent much of his career working in naval intelligence, was at the time of his arrest the head of a private security firm. On 20 April 2000 the FSB revealed that Pope had been seeking plans the Shkval underwater missile. Pope was detained during an informal contact with a Russian scientist who had participated in the Shkval's creation.

The arrest of Daniel Howard Kiely, deputy head of the Applied Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, came almost simultaneously. The laboratory led by Mr. Kiely has for many years been developing torpedoes for US warships and submarines. Professor Kiely had joined Pope in Moscow to offer technical advice and determine the tasks for Pope's further activity. Kiely was interrogated as a witness. His testimony and objects confiscated during the search proved his involvement in Pope's activities. Later the 68-year-old professor was released and allowed to return to the United States.

The objective of the High-Speed Undersea Weaponry project at the US Office of Naval Research is to develop the vehicle guidance, control and maneuvering capabilities for the quick reaction weapons. High-speed weapons could offer an advantage for Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) "close encounter" scenarios. The overall system response of a high-speed weapon for breaking off engagements with enemy submarines would be measured in seconds, rather than minutes. The High-Speed Undersea Weapons project has three tasks; Vehicle Guidance, Vehicle Control, and Test Bed Development. Vehicle Guidance deals with homing sensors, signal processing, waveform design, and autopilot commands that are used to guide (either autonomously or with external interaction) the weapon to its target. Vehicle control deals with control and maneuvering of the high-speed weapon with emphasis on stabilizing the supercavitating bubble cavity, and optimizing the flow for low drag. Technical issues include instability due to vehicle planing and tail slap, interaction between cavity with propulsion exhaust, and propulsion system transients, including startup. Test Bed Development is an ongoing effort that develops a test platform to test and evaluate S&T candidate systems such as homing systems, vehicle control, and propulsion systems.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/shkval.htm

Bill
09 Dec 03,, 11:10
The skvhal is not a new torpedo, and it is hardly revolutionary.

bigross86
09 Dec 03,, 13:18
It still is a threat though, isn't it?

Vaman
09 Dec 03,, 18:49
why do say you that m21sniper?

atleast thats the first time I have heard of supercavitational tech put to a conventional use and that too with possible plans for wide deployment.

Are there other platforms that use a similar concept or technology?

Praxus
09 Dec 03,, 20:35
The Shkval is the first use of supercavitational technology in modern weapons and represents perhaps the largest leap forward in underwater warfare since the invention of the submarine itself.


The US has developed them we just havn't widely deployed them and chances are we(as in the US or other NATO countries) developed long before Russia did.

Please tell me what countries could challange an American fleet let a lone a combined American/NATO/Japanese fleet. We are talking in excess of 600 Major Surface Ships(well over 80% of them are far beyond technology levels of Russia and China).

bigross86
09 Dec 03,, 20:57
Dude, just a few Kilos or Romeos running silent with suicidal crews with these things could seriously cripple a CVBG.

Praxus
09 Dec 03,, 21:13
They would probley do less damage then normal torpedos!

Explosives is replaced with propellant and on top of that it doesn't explode under the keal. So it doesn't snap the ship in half. Also take into account it has a range 43km shorter then the Seawolf and 33km less then Torpedo from LA class.

What I'm saying is it only goes 7.5 kilometers, on top of this fact it doesn't even have homing it has an autopilot(whatever the hell that means). This Torpedo is meant to be anti-submarine at close ranges not to take out ships, which you need a large warhead. The kinetic energy and the small amount of explosives is not enough to sink a Destroyer or Cruiser. Maybe an Op kill but thats about it.

Trooth
09 Dec 03,, 22:28
Originally posted by Praxus
it has an autopilot(whatever the hell that means).

Autopilots generally hold a vehicle to a course ("bearing 234"), but are not intellgient in knowing if that course needs to change ("target has moved").

Praxus
09 Dec 03,, 22:30
Thats definatly not good when it comes to torpedos.

Trooth
09 Dec 03,, 22:47
Does seem to be a limitation. I guess the speed of this thing is designed to overcome it. As you point out, if they are gonna be noisy they ain't gonna get in range.

Bill
11 Dec 03,, 22:06
It's not new, the Skhval has been around for over a decade.

It is not revolutionary in that it cannot guide itself. It is like a WWII torpedo.........drives in a straight line.

It is designed to be used with a nuclear warhead making a near miss more than enough. But of course, it will never be used with a nuclear torpedo......Russia has no desire to be anhillated by the US response.

Therefore, what we have is a conventional warhead that is undersized mated to a torpedo with extremely short range and no guidance system.

Oh joy....real revolutionary.

It's fast, but there's more to a weapon than how fast it runs.

So far, the only ship sunk by a Skhval is the Kursk...

lurker
13 Dec 03,, 13:46
Nah, Shkval designed to be used only with a nuclear warhead. It is a "last chance" weapon that was supposed to be fired on attacking Sub's or torpedoes as soon as they are detected.

Since USN and Russian navy removed nukes from the ships long time ago (1991?), - there is no live Shkval's deployed in the fleet.

So it couldn't sink Kursk or anything else.

p.s. with the speeds about 500 kmh homing doesn't really matter, because target have only about 1.5 minutes to take evasive maneuvers before hit (8 miles distance).

Bill
13 Dec 03,, 21:54
Considering that 8 miles is about double the range of the Skvhal, that is some pretty worthless data lurker.

The Skvhal DOES have a conventional variant, and one DID malfunction and sink the Kursk.

It was all over the web.....do you read anything but Pravda dude?

Praxus
13 Dec 03,, 22:15
In the 45 seconds it would take the torpedo to reach a sumbarine, at 25 knots the sub would have moved 13 meters. That may not be much but it would greatly decrease hit probibility.

Bill
13 Dec 03,, 23:12
The main drawback to the Skvhal is it's super short range.

The odds of getting that close to a US warship or Sub on wartime footing are EXTREMELY small.

Praxus
13 Dec 03,, 23:21
Even if they do the Torpedo won't do much.

Bill
14 Dec 03,, 09:28
Well, actually, i think yer wrong about that part.

A Sprucan, Tico, or perry would be heavily damaged by a Skvhal hit.

bigross86
14 Dec 03,, 13:10
ANd once again, a Kilo that's absolutely silent in the path of a CVBG and looses off say, 4-8 Shkval's has a decent chance of hitting something

lurker
14 Dec 03,, 23:55
Originally posted by M21Sniper
Considering that 8 miles is about double the range of the Skvhal, that is some pretty worthless data lurker.

The Skvhal DOES have a conventional variant, and one DID malfunction and sink the Kursk.

It was all over the web.....do you read anything but Pravda dude?

As usual you are taking about things you know very little about.
Designed maximum range of Shkval is up to 20 km, effective range is 7 km.

As I said, this weapon is ment to be used only for sub's self-defence.
It is extremely NOISY, and supposed to be used only when sub is already detected by enemy and attack on is underway.

The good things about it that it cannot be jammed and it is very hard to intercept or avoid.

lurker
14 Dec 03,, 23:59
Ande there was about 5 or 6 versions of the Kursk incident "all over the internet".

As I remember, more often there was mentionedd 650mm "fat" torpedo, than Shkval.

p.s. and I am not a fan of the "torpedo explosion" version.

Bill
15 Dec 03,, 00:21
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

lurker
15 Dec 03,, 00:47
yawn :P

Praxus
15 Dec 03,, 00:57
Well, actually, i think yer wrong about that part.

A Sprucan, Tico, or perry would be heavily damaged by a Skvhal hit.

Not as much as a 660mm Torpedo Exploding under the Keal causing the ship to break in half.

omon
02 Nov 06,, 22:15
it wasn,t shkval that sunk kursk shkval uses solid propelant, what sunk kursk was the torpedo that used hydrogen peroxcide as fuel, it is highly corrosive, fuel tank sprung a leak and HP reacted with metal inside, that is why shweden sonars heard 2 explosions 1 smal (created fire) and one big that sunk the sub. also shkval has 2 kilo of explosive(warhead) not enough to sink duble hull sub

Galrahn
03 Nov 06,, 16:53
Well, actually, i think yer wrong about that part.

A Sprucan, Tico, or perry would be heavily damaged by a Skvhal hit.

I'm not convinced a 9000 ton ship compartmentalized under the waterline would take 'heavy damage' from a shkval, in fact I think the total damage would be much less than hitting a sea mine.

I'm not even convenced a shkval could penetrate a commercial tankers double hull underwater, considering the cone of a shkval is a lightweight cone filled with compressed gas. If I remember correctly one of the reasons the Russians never went with super cavitation as a weapon standard for torpedos was because the weapon, while with behavioral charactoristics of an underwater missile, didn't have the penetration/delayed fuse capability of a missile, and additionally didn't have the proximity fuse capability of a modern torpedo. It makes the weapon somewhat ineffective as a conventional weapon, because it would be like exploding a small bomb outside the hull underwater.

That might work against a small ship, but an 8000 ton warship in the USN? I disagree there would be 'heavy damage.'

Compare the shkval with a bottom detonation of a modern heavy torpedo under a commercial tanker. The shkval would be unlikely to penetrate the double hull, while a heavy torpedo under the ship would probably create cracks in both hulls, causing a spill and creating major potential for fire.

Defcon 6
03 Nov 06,, 20:50
Not as much as a 660mm Torpedo Exploding under the Keal causing the ship to break in half.

USN doesn't use any 660 mm torpedoes.

FOG3
03 Nov 06,, 20:53
ENEMY WEAPON: Russian VA-111 Shkval
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Submariners say that all they need to do when faced with an incoming Shkval is make a slight change in depth."

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[Have opinions on this article? Go to the Discussion Forum to sound off. ]

By Joe Buff

In my recent “Conventional Global Strike” I promised to address soon other ways in which U.S. Navy submarine armament systems are dramatically broadening in reach and lethality. But observing the errors of fact and occasional tone nearing hysteria in some media lately, I feel compelled to first address an “enemy” weapon and put it in its proper place. This weapon has been called in print “hellacious.” It's been described as a “quantum leap” in the nature of naval warfare from this day forth -- a disruptive technology for which America is woefully unprepared. It's even been said that there's no physically possible friendly defense against it, and the target won't even realize the weapon is coming until it impacts and the target's crew are dead. Paints a scary picture, doesn't it? Yet none of these statements are true.

The weapon is the famous (or infamous) Russian VA-111 Shkval rocket torpedo and its variants, capable of speeds of more than 200 knots underwater. This speed is achieved by the rocket pushing the sharply tapering, flat-tipped torpedo so fast that a vacuum bubble forms around the body of the weapon, greatly reducing water resistance -- the process, for the uninitiated, is called supercavitation.

The Shkval has been getting a sudden flurry of news attention. I suspect some of this is due to Russia selling the Shkval-E export version to China -- newly identified by the Pentagon as an emerging peer competitor in the western Pacific if not globally. Those sales actually date back to at least 1998. Then there's Iran's very recent test of a ship-launched supercavitating torpedo. Given allegations that Moscow sold a few prototype Shkvals to Tehran, it appears likely that the Iranian weapon has roots in Russia's design.

More properly, I should say “the Soviet Union's design,” because -– despite certain misconceptions to the contrary -- the first Shkvals entered service at the height of the Cold War, after a decade in development, back in 1977. That's almost thirty years ago. Since America's Submarine Force and other intelligence assets in those days kept very close tabs on Moscow's naval weapon tests and exercises, Washington's defense establishment has been well aware of supercavitating torpedoes for a entire human generation. That the U.S. Navy chose not to develop and field such weapons years ago says something, not about a lack of ability as some writeups have insinuated, but about a lack of desire. I'll return to this later in the discussion. (The Navy and DARPA do slowly continue R&D into possible supercavitating projectiles and vehicles for specialized purposes, but these remain paper concepts or in the early test-apparatus stage.)

Among errors of fact that one might have read in a newspaper or on-line news digest, or even seen in a TV documentary, is that Shkval-type weapons move faster than their own noise. This makes them totally undetectable to their victim -- a Virginia-class sub is sometimes mentioned in this context as a choice target -- until the rocket torpedo detonates and the American sub is destroyed. There's just one serious problem with this, not for the Virginia-class sub but for the enemy. The speed of sound in seawater varies subtly with local conditions, but is typically just under one statute mile per second -- five times the speed of sound in air, for comparison. This makes the speed of sound in seawater about 3,000 knots. A supercavitating weapon doing 300 knots is barely making Mach 0.1 in the medium in which both it and its target are located. And rocket engines are terribly noisy. That noise signature will travel on ahead of the Shkval to be heard by a submarine's passive sonars well before weapon impact. As detailed below, (and despite bellicose Iranian claims to the contrary), American submariners have an ample toolkit for swiftly throwing off the Shkval's aim, and then fighting back.

So much for that bit of disinformation.

Iran isn't about to give up easily in their war of words (and associated psy-ops) about their new wonder-torpedo. They allege it's “sonar evading.” If you know very much about sonar, you have to be scratching your head and asking, What the heck is that supposed to mean? I tag it as agit-prop doubletalk -- better laughed at than worried about. I justify my tagging as follows:

Sonar evasion per se, by any weapon or vessel, is achieved in one of two ways. The first is to be very quiet, so your target's passive sonars can't detect your presence nearby. Scratch that, since supercavitating rockets are deafeningly loud -- the vacuum bubble collapses in the turbulence of their engine exhaust, providing scant sound isolation if any at all. The second is the old, familiar use of sonar layers and other underwater noise propogation effects to mask your acoustic signature from the target as you approach. But no one understands these effects better than the U.S. Navy, and not just subs but surface ships and aircraft are equipped to leave no room for a roaring rocket motor to hide. (Surface combatants can stream variable-depth sonar towed arrays, and their supporting anti-submarine helicopters can use variable-depth dipping sonar and also drop optimized patterns of sonobuoys.) Besides, in the littorals (shallow and/or near-shore waters), where near-future naval battles seem most likely to occur against enemy diesel subs or small surface craft deploying any large weapons, there often is no sonar layer -- the water isn't deep enough for one to form. With up-to-date and thorough hydrographic data in hand (including salinity variations, charted and uncharted wrecks, gas- and oil-drilling/pumping noise sources, and water transparency or lack thereof), American and allied subs would sneak in where undersea conditions maximize their own stealth, while they use the same knowledge to seek and ambush enemy subs.

(Purists will note there is a third way to achieve low observability against active pinging sonar, namely the use of anechoic -- sound absorbing -- coatings on the hull. But modern U.S. submarine passive sonars are able to derive the range to any high-decibel sound source instantly, obviating the need to ever go active against an inbound torpedo. The implied analogy to radar-absorbent materials on cruise missiles fails underwater.)

So much for “sonar evading.”

To best appreciate these issues, it's important to think of the bigger picture. Superior U.S. Navy sonars (and the skilled sonar techs who use them) in any theater of conflict or combat will constantly be hunting for the slightest hint of enemy threats. And an incoming Shkval has to come from somewhere -- it doesn't materialize out of thin air. The best strategy, as always in naval warfare, is to destroy the enemy platform before it can fire its weapons effectively. Special new active and passive sonars, advanced signal processing algorithms, and console display modes so sophisticated they're classified are intended to eke out the slightest whiff of an enemy diesel sub concealing itself amid the naturally high background noise to be found in most littoral areas. The same thing goes for enemy fast-attack craft rushing along or lurking on the surface.

In many littoral warfare scenarios an American sub won't be operating alone, but rather as part of a joint (or combined, i.e., allied) task force that would include other subs, unmanned undersea vehicles, temporary bottom-moored listening grids, surface warships, aircraft (including recon drones), plus intermittent overpasses by surveillance satellites. Network-centric warfare is a complicated team sport. With recent and impending breakthroughs in “comms at depth and speed,” submarines are now part of that team, and the task force would literally cast a wide net to localize, track, target, and sink any threats. In the earliest, “battlespace preparation” phase of some armed showdown, a lot of attention would be paid to accounting for and neutralizing all potential Shkval-launching platforms.

The point of the discussion, so far, is that speed of one weapon, viewed alone, doesn't determine the outcome of either a sub-on-sub dogfight or a major naval engagement. The fact that the maximum range of a Shkval or derivative, before its rocket fuel runs out, is only four or five miles, should help put in proper perspective that supercavitating torpedoes are hardly as “hellacious” as they've been described. (By the way, their disadvantages hold equally well if carried on enemy nuclear subs as if carried on enemy diesels.)

Perhaps one good proof of this is that active duty submariners I've met on subs or talked to at conferences aren't exhibiting any panic over Shkvals. The way they describe it, the latest mod of the Improved Advanced Capability (ADCAP) Mark 48 sub-launched heavyweight torpedo remains by far their weapon of choice. They scoff at the threat that a Shkval would pose -- assuming it isn't armed with a nuclear warhead. (In that nightmarish scenario, the Shkval with its limited range would amount to a suicide weapon. And Mark 48s are nuclear-capable, if necessary, too.) In contrast to the Shkval, the latest Mark 48 is reported to have a maximum range of some 30 nautical miles. During a game of cat-and-mouse, this means the American sub can threaten anything inside an area 36 times as big as what's covered by a 5-mile-range Shkval. That gives a very significant, classic tactical advantage: By holding open the range using the nuclear submarine's maximum speed advantage over the diesel's (say, 30+ knots sustained compared to 20ish in short bursts), the American vessel can “bombard” its opponent from outside the diesel's ability to hit back with Shkvals. Furthermore, the maximum speed of a Mark 48 is reported in open sources as some 60 knots, and I suspect that the actual (classified) figure for the latest (ninth?) mod might be several knots higher than that. The American weapon is three times as fast as the enemy diesel -- and is also much faster than any known nuclear sub. (One news source claimed that the U.S. Navy had failed to invest in good torpedos for years now, and that our best fish were so slow that enemy subs and ships could simply outrun them. I have never read a more incorrect statement in my entire 10-year career as a non-fiction submarine commentator.)

Granted, Iran's rocket torpedo is three times faster than the latest Mark 48, but I've tried to show above that in the wholistic framework of modern naval action, out in blue water or in the littorals, a factor of three in weapon speed makes a difference in degree but most certainly not a difference in kind. Yes, better situational awareness, and faster reaction time, are at a heightened premium aboard American ships and subs in the emerging environment. It's precisely these attributes that the Navy is striving with a will to enhance in every possible way. (The revolutionary layout of the Virginia-class control room is just one example of many in this arena of man-machine interfaces for optimal warfighting preparedness and survivability.)

But there is a difference in kind between a Shkval and a Mark 48. The Mark 48 is wire guided, allowing fire-control technicians to adjust the fish's course for weaknesses in the original firing solution (think torpedo “Kentucky windage”), or to compensate for evasive maneuvers by the target. Technicians can also use their submarine's powerful sensors to help discriminate between the genuine target and any decoys or noisemakers the target might launch -- all assuming the wire doesn't break. Even if the guidance wire does break, the latest Mark 48s have such capable active and passive sonars and on-board computer brains that they can search on their own, pick out their intended target from amid littoral (or other) acoustic clutter while ignoring neutral vessels nearby, and then zero in for the kill.

In contrast, most supercavitating weapons that are operational right now are pretty dumb. This is mainly because their ancestors started out as dedicated nuclear weapons, so that pinpoint accuracy wasn't much of an issue to the engineers and commanders who built and deployed them. Speed was the design bureau's sole object (because conventionally-powered USSR torpedoes in the late 1960s were slow). Given this dubious legacy, most high-explosive-armed Shkval-like torpedoes still rely on traveling in a straight line, with no guidance or homing whatsoever after launch. Nowadays, the firing vessel hopes that this straight line intersects the target's track at the same moment that the target happens to be at that point on its track. This is like early World War II technology! A well-aimed spread of such weapons could definitely prove fatal to a big surface ship, say one of our supercarriers, and higher torpedo speed does make up for softness in the firing solution. But as mentioned above, the key to successful defense is to prevent the Shkval's launching vessel from getting close enough to the carrier to begin with. This is presumably one driving force behind the U.S. Navy's greatly stepped-up emphasis on anti-submarine warfare for surface battle groups -- with enemy diesel subs receiving particular attention, their roles played by allied diesels including the leased Swedish Gotland-class sub and her crew. At this point American submariners have been engaging in anti-diesel exercises for some time; after a few initial humbling setbacks, the U.S. side collectively developed doctrine and tactics that give them a much better edge. (For a take on the relative disadvantages of modern diesels with air-independent propulsion, compared to nuclear-powered subs, see my archives for “Diesel Downside,” 13 July 2005.)

American submariners tell me that all they need to do when faced with an incoming high-explosive Shkval is make a slight change in depth (or a fast change in heading and speed), and the Shkval will go right by, its impact or laser-proximity fuse left with no reason to explode within dangerous range. It's very beneficial to be able to move in three dimensions, even or especially in the littorals!

Of course, as with all weapons down the ages, Shkval-type technology isn't standing still. Russia is developing a version of a supercavitating torpedo that does have some artificial intelligence and homing sensors including sonar. The problem is that for the sonar to work, the Shkval has to slow down drastically, in spurts, so it won't be blinded by its own noise and has a chance at acquiring and reacquiring its prey to make the needed terminal course corrections. This seeming enhancement to the Shkval introduces a substantial Achilles' heel: When moving slowly, and relying on conventional sensors to home on its target, the Shkval becomes vulnerable to all the standard evasive tactics and countermeasures with which American submariners are exceedingly well versed. The Shkval, during such an attack, also repeatedly forfeits its one apparent advantage, its speed, before having to accelerate again. Rumor has it that Moscow is trying to make a wire-guided Shkval, but trailing a wire that doesn't snap at 300 knots, or melt in the searing heat of the rocket exhaust, or cause the vacuum bubble to collapse enough for the whole weapon to suddenly tear itself apart, seem daunting problems indeed.

Counterattacking the Shkval's launch platform is best done with a Mark 48 or two. The answer is definitely not for our Silent Service to rush and clone the Shkval. This is another overwhelming benefit of our current conventional torpedoes: They can be launched very quietly, be programmed to run on a dog-leg course initially at slow and quiet speed to disguise their point of origin, and then attack the Shkval's parent platform with ease -- because the launch signature and trajectory of the Shkval will point right back to its own point of origin. The American submarine, in contrast to the Shkval shooter, can shoot back while retaining good stealth. With the latest integrated combat systems, if ever caught by surprise our guys can get their retaliatory fish into the water in a matter of seconds. Then using superior technology and tactics, the American sub can regain the initiative and go on the offensive. (Speed of opening accurate counter fire can be more important than transit speed of the weapon itself.)

I don't mean to downplay the risks of major naval combat against a well-equipped, well-trained, determined competitor, or of naval guerilla warfare by a rogue state. (Iran dueled with us in the “Tanker War” in the Persian Gulf in the 1980s.) I've warned in earlier essays that if battle at sea does erupt some day, our nation needs to be mentally and militarily prepared to lose some ships and Sailors -- just as the Royal Navy did in the Falklands Crisis in the early ‘80s.

Previously in thie piece I stated that the Shkval isn't, as claimed, completely immune to friendly defensive weaponry. This is because, for years, the U.S. Navy has been investing in, developing, and testing undersea weapons that really do move at Mach 1 or faster in seawater. In contrast, the Shkvals and their ilk, which weigh several tons and can be close to 30 feet long, come up against a practical speed limit. Once supercavitation is achieved, water friction drag is significantly reduced, but some drag is always still there. That's why a Shkval hits 200 or 300 knots and then stays at that terminal velocity, instead of going faster and faster till it takes off for outer space, so to speak. Universal formulas apply for the power needed to increase speed of a given body moving through a given fluid with a given drag coefficient. The basic stricture is that the increase in power goes up with the cube of the desired increase in speed. According to this formula, to get a 300-knot Shkval to go 10 times as fast and be truly supersonic would require 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000 times as much power. You never know, but I don't see this happening soon. (Talk of underwater jet engines that burn liquid aluminum for fuel will remain the stuff of science fiction for quite a few years.)

So what are the true Mach 1 weapons America is working on?

One of these devices is an anti-torpedo dart, fired underwater by an sonar-aimed gun in a streamlined turret. In a proof-of-concept experiment several years ago, the Naval Undersea Weapons Center Newport Division was able to shoot a dart in a tank at greater than the speed of sound in the surrounding water. Though the dart is not self-propelled, and thus loses velocity (and accuracy) with range, as a close-in defense system against fast (and not so fast) enemy torpedoes it holds great promise.

The other device that's been discussed for a while in the unclassified literature is a hull-mounted pressure-wave generator. (Think of something like an active sonar array that sends out a tremendously strong burst of noise.) The pressure-wave generator transmits an intense underwater focused shock wave in the direction of an inbound torpedo. Since shock waves automatically move at the speed of sound, this provides a genuine Mach 1 countermeasure against any Shkval. If the pressure wave is aimed well and the timing is just right, a “hellacious” wall of acoustic energy will smash the Shkval to pieces. (The Shkval's higher speed makes the collision all the more violent!) This device is ideal for mounting on the hulls of all-electric surface ships, such as the DD(X)/CC(X) fleet of the future, and maybe LCSs and even subs too.

If you're really feeling the need for speed, think about these developmental supersonic underwater weapon systems. They outclass the Shkval by a factor of ten.

Some urgency is called for regarding such advanced defensive measures, as supercavitation technology is quickly proliferating among America's actual and potential foes. But at the same time it's crucial to recognize that the Shkvals of the world have been surrounded in a fog of plain untruths and insidious rhetoric. What concerns me most is not the supercavitating weapons themselves -- as I say, they've existed for decades. Their sensationalized treatment in pockets of the media give domestic nay-sayers further ammo to press their case in the most absurd and self-destructive claim of all, that America's current nuclear submarines are nothing but Cold War relics -- now, because they're supposedly hopelessly vulnerable to Shkvals. This essay has attempted to show that it's the Shkvals that are the real Cold War relics. So long as they're deprived of their nuclear warheads, against a properly trained and equipped U.S. Navy their speed is their own greatest weakness.

About the Author: A former partner in a top-10 global management consulting firm, Joe Buff is a seasoned risk analyst and professional writer on national security and defense preparedness.
How does this going over of it rate? (http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_060420_shkval,,00.html) Are those countermeasures still being developed, or did the budget eat them?

Bill
03 Nov 06,, 22:30
I'm not convinced a 9000 ton ship compartmentalized under the waterline would take 'heavy damage' from a shkval, in fact I think the total damage would be much less than hitting a sea mine.

I'm not even convenced a shkval could penetrate a commercial tankers double hull underwater, considering the cone of a shkval is a lightweight cone filled with compressed gas. If I remember correctly one of the reasons the Russians never went with super cavitation as a weapon standard for torpedos was because the weapon, while with behavioral charactoristics of an underwater missile, didn't have the penetration/delayed fuse capability of a missile, and additionally didn't have the proximity fuse capability of a modern torpedo. It makes the weapon somewhat ineffective as a conventional weapon, because it would be like exploding a small bomb outside the hull underwater.

That might work against a small ship, but an 8000 ton warship in the USN? I disagree there would be 'heavy damage.'

Compare the shkval with a bottom detonation of a modern heavy torpedo under a commercial tanker. The shkval would be unlikely to penetrate the double hull, while a heavy torpedo under the ship would probably create cracks in both hulls, causing a spill and creating major potential for fire.
If Rick wants to chime in here i'll certainly go with whatever he says. He was a submariner, he ought to have a decent idea.

omon
03 Nov 06,, 22:44
When you say supersonic torpedo you mean sound speed under wather or in the air cuse speed of sound underwater is about 5 times of that in the air, so how fast should the shkval go to be supersonic underwater ? big number. i doudt that anything manmade can surpass water speed of sound.

rickusn
03 Nov 06,, 23:54
Well GDY Sniper Ill bite.

That is if the system here allows me.

We will all know shortly!!!!!!

LOL

"If Rick wants to chime in here i'll certainly go with whatever he says. He was a submariner, he ought to have a decent idea."
__________________


The weapon is dangerous but like most Russian weapons/systems "it does one thing well, while forsaking all others".

ie As a practical matter most of their weapons are useless but nevertheless dangerous.

As for Galrahn he probably has the best perspective on these matters.

Often much to my chagrin.

LOL

And I have in the past, do and will in the future rely on his knowledge, perception and insight.

However it remains a fact:

Thers are two kinds of ships:

1.) Targets

2.) Submarines.


Sniper dont you have enough problems with Lurker w/o trying to bait me.

LOL

Well I hope this posts.

Otherwise "#$$%&*(())_".

Or in my lighter moods KMA.

LOL

Bill
04 Nov 06,, 00:12
Lurker is no problem of mine.

I 'drug you into this' because we were seeking clarification asking specifically about the ability of a Skval conventional warhead to do "significant damage" to a Tico or Sprucan or Burke.

I appreciate your comments, but they really didn't address that point very specifically.

Bill
04 Nov 06,, 00:12
Thers are two kinds of ships:

1.) Targets

2.) Submarines.

There are two kinds of soldiers. Snipers...and targets. ;)

rickusn
04 Nov 06,, 00:50
"I appreciate your comments, but they really didn't address that point very specifically."

Of course they did.

Which part of does "one thing well" did you not understand.

Its fast. End of story.

Bill
04 Nov 06,, 01:08
This part:

"ie As a practical matter most of their weapons are useless but nevertheless dangerous."

If the warhead would not do significant damage, it's not very dangerous, ie, an ambiguity.

That was the part i didn't "understand".

For my part i'd think the shock damage alone from a warhead that large(460lbs according to Wiki) detonating after striking the hull at 230mph(hmm...ever seen a car impact at 60mph?) would be quite extensive, even if the warhead didn't penetrate, but, alas, i digress until the next expert(real or imagined) comes in at some future date and says it would do a lot of damage.

LOL....

gf0012-aust
05 Nov 06,, 06:36
I'm not convinced a 9000 ton ship compartmentalized under the waterline would take 'heavy damage' from a shkval, in fact I think the total damage would be much less than hitting a sea mine.

The USN is going to have some data somewhere - after all, they were playing around with cavitating torpedoes long before the russians. Although the US inventor of the cav torpedo (plus other UDT weapons) is no longer in US Govt employ (per se), he still is involved with the UDT Conference circuit.

I seem to remember a lecture he gave at a UDT Conf where he went through the list of probs that cav torpedoes had - contrary to some in the (sensational) press, he didn't seem too stressed out by all the hoo har attributed to them.

Bill
06 Nov 06,, 00:45
We'll mark that as another "no" on Shkval being a threat, lol.

lurker
06 Nov 06,, 02:24
I'd say what we have is:
1) USN have no clue about how Shkval will perform, because all of their efforts in "supercavitating weapons" havent yet produced a visible result. No photos, only computer images.
2) VA-111 is a designation of the 20-year old, nuclear tipped version, that was sub-to-sub only and was nuclear-only.
3) Max travel time for "Shkval" is 100 seconds. In that time target need to a) evade b) counter attack (Taking into account that there is no active-passive countermeasures against "Shkval" at all)
- evasion includes like going to full reactor power (for nuclear ships), increasing speed and finally evasive maneuver (if there is a time left for it).
4) I'ts not really a "straight line", it's more like "many curves" weapon. It uses autopilot, and pre-programmable trajectory.
5) Of course original weapon was "nerfed" with conventional warhead, but still there is a big chance to kill a target before it will be able to reach the attacker with its slow Mk48's.
How big is that chance? - noone knows.

Francois
06 Nov 06,, 04:14
1) USN have no clue about how Shkval will perform, because all of their efforts in "supercavitating weapons" havent yet produced a visible result. No photos, only computer images.
Well, it is well known that at least 5 western countries have been testing the torp since 1995.

2) VA-111 is a designation of the 20-year old, nuclear tipped version, that was sub-to-sub only and was nuclear-only.
And had a range of 5NM, making it the best kill-myself weapon around.

3) Max travel time for "Shkval" is 100 seconds. In that time target need to a) evade b) counter attack (Taking into account that there is no active-passive countermeasures against "Shkval" at all)
- evasion includes like going to full reactor power (for nuclear ships), increasing speed and finally evasive maneuver (if there is a time left for it).
But beofre you launch, you need what is called a launch-solution. Which is not very easy to get for a russian sub.

4) I'ts not really a "straight line", it's more like "many curves" weapon. It uses autopilot, and pre-programmable trajectory.
How do you manoever a buttel that fast is not comprehensible (especially over 5NM!).

How big is that chance? - noone knows.
So you admit you don't know.
Thanx.

lurker
06 Nov 06,, 04:41
They expereiment with "something" for 10 years and nobody seen that "something" yet. As I said - there is no reliable data, not even a single prototype. At least no pictures of it, no tech data, only computer generated cartoons

I am myself not a big fan of the conventional version (afaik, no navy have it in the inventory, not even Russian).
Nuclear-tipped version has clean, understandable operational use.

For the conventional version (there is no designation for it, only declassified "name" "Shkval-E") - I don't see any particular use, except to lauch from small boats or static platforms in closed waters or narrow channels.

I disregard the note about noise of russian subs, since after "Sierra" series - there is nothing to note in particular.

Francois
06 Nov 06,, 05:29
I disregard the note about noise of russian subs, since after "Sierra" series - there is nothing to note in particular.
LOL may I have a taste of your mil/industrial background?
(I am gona have fun - LOL!)
Since Gary joined the board, I have a guaranty for mine ;)
How are you doing G?

lurker
06 Nov 06,, 06:04
LOL may I have a taste of your mil/industrial background?
(I am gona have fun - LOL!)
Since Gary joined the board, I have a guaranty for mine ;)
How are you doing G?
Not really a big secret. I am a leutenant of USSR air-defence forces (PVO SSSR), retired in 93. Speciality was radars and computers. All other early warning stuff included.
Since then it's just computers, software and hardware.
As of the subject - it's a hobby of mine. Since then I've met many interesging people in the industry and around, made some translations back and forth.

If you are so concerned about "Shkval" rande, and noise of the russian subs - why don't you focus on RPK-7 (SS-N-16) and RPK-2 (SS-N-15)? They are still in the inventory, and execute the same anti-sub function much more effective than "Shkval", IMO.

gf0012-aust
06 Nov 06,, 08:01
LOL may I have a taste of your mil/industrial background?
(I am gona have fun - LOL!)
Since Gary joined the board, I have a guaranty for mine ;)
How are you doing G?


Good matey, starting to hit some busy parts for work.. I just wish FreqFlyer points were worth money... ;)

I was going to avoid this one but got suckered.... I will close off by saying that I think the USN and French navies have far more to brag about wrt cavitating UDT developments.

Francois
07 Nov 06,, 01:58
I disregard the note about noise of russian subs, since after "Sierra" series - there is nothing to note in particular.
Well, even in the noise area, soviets never reached western standards.
But I didn't talk about the noise particularily.
You should understand that to get a good launch solution, you need to be sharp in your ears, quite and sharp in your skills.
Sov never had the three.

To translate, noise is an issue, but reducing it is not the single solution.
Systems need to work properly. And I don't think you can come to 5NM of a western sub without being noticed.

Not even with your 971U-XXX last notch!

gf0012-aust
07 Nov 06,, 02:10
Well, even in the noise area, soviets never reached western standards.
But I didn't talk about the noise particularily.
You should understand that to get a good launch solution, you need to be sharp in your ears, quite and sharp in your skills.
Sov never had the three.

To translate, noise is an issue, but reducing it is not the single solution.
Systems need to work properly. And I don't think you can come to 5NM of a western sub without being noticed.

Not even with your 971U-XXX last notch!

you also need an acoustically balanced design that works over a range of typical op profiles - and decent signature management (be it active or passive). thats something that has eluded the russians for years....

Defcon 6
07 Nov 06,, 02:16
you also need an acoustically balanced design that works over a range of typical op profiles - and decent signature management (be it active or passive). thats something that has eluded the russians for years....

So bottom line is that the Shkval is useless. And cativating weapons in general if we used the lack of a production weapon for the USN as an example.

Just wanting to get the thread back on track...

gf0012-aust
07 Nov 06,, 02:23
So bottom line is that the Shkval is useless. And cativating weapons in general if we used the lack of a production weapon for the USN as an example.

Just wanting to get the thread back on track...

unless there has been a "requirements brain fart" - no weapon is useless.

the point being made is that its not the wonder weapon that is often promoted in the press.

cavitating weapons have not been abandoned by the USN at all (if production visibility is used as the measurement of employment success). the USN has achieved some pretty speccy outcomes with cav weapons - its just that they also don't need to go out and advertise everything they do. Ditto for the french navy who have also not been asleep at the wheel on cav weapons.

omon
07 Nov 06,, 02:48
found this

Defcon 6
07 Nov 06,, 21:34
unless there has been a "requirements brain fart" - no weapon is useless.

the point being made is that its not the wonder weapon that is often promoted in the press.

cavitating weapons have not been abandoned by the USN at all (if production visibility is used as the measurement of employment success). the USN has achieved some pretty speccy outcomes with cav weapons - its just that they also don't need to go out and advertise everything they do. Ditto for the french navy who have also not been asleep at the wheel on cav weapons.

USN couldn't even produce the Mk. 50 in significant quantities. Last thing I read they were trying to offset production and expense problems with the Mk. 54 hybrid torpedo.

as for the cav weapons,

I guess the last word on the USN's cav weapons might go something like, "lost but not forgotten". :)

omon
08 Nov 06,, 21:45
imo, we are missing something, shkval has no guiance sys, week warhead,noisy as hell, i'm thinking may be it wasn't meant to have all that stuff, probably it was made for a different reason, could it be used as underwater canon, torpedo tube is the barrel and shkval is a round, shoot 3 or 4 of them and it's like burst, at that speed it's gonna hurt even if some miss

avon1944
09 Nov 06,, 06:51
i'm thinking may be it wasn't meant to have all that stuff, probably it was made for a different reason
During the Cold War USN and UK SSN's would sneak into Soviet bastions that they had for their SSBM's, get within 2,000 meters and 'ping' the SSBM with their active sonar. Then sneak away with the Soviet SSN's not being able to detect the NATO intruder.
In a war an NATO SSN getting that close to a Soviet SSBM, firing a Mk-48 or Spearfish torpedos the Soviet SSBM would have no chance of escape. Plus the NATO sub would get away.
The Shkval would force NATO SSNs to stay back at least 10,000 meters.

Adrian

omon
10 Nov 06,, 00:42
that makes sence,

gf0012-aust
25 Nov 06,, 09:05
The Shkval would force NATO SSNs to stay back at least 10,000 meters.



thats only of limited value. the Skval is basically a boresight weapon with limited manouvre. that means that they have a limited aspect to even commence a shoot from. add in the factor of distance to target, speed (and hence limited time to adjust course) and a limited aspect and you have a devalued weapon. Excellent for boresight shots on slow or static targets - not much chop if the base variables change.

there are far more useful cavitation weapons that can be developed outside of high speed limited aspect torpedoes.

Defcon 6
28 Nov 06,, 18:38
devalued=useless.

it's all the same thing.

^_^

canoe
29 Nov 06,, 08:07
Whats the possibility of that technoligy being built into a 2 stage torpedo?

First stage conventional torpedo system bringing the second stage within range and lines it up for a proper firing solution then releases the rocket powered second stage at the target?

gf0012-aust
29 Nov 06,, 08:35
Whats the possibility of that technoligy being built into a 2 stage torpedo?

First stage conventional torpedo system bringing the second stage within range and lines it up for a proper firing solution then releases the rocket powered second stage at the target?

I can't see it working. You'd basically have to sabot the cavitator at the tertiary stage - and then newtons law of motion kicks in. there would be insufficient mass to counteract the effects of "ejection".

It would be all over the shop like a dogs breakfast IMV.

Garry
29 Nov 06,, 12:03
If you are so concerned about "Shkval" rande, and noise of the russian subs - why don't you focus on RPK-7 (SS-N-16) and RPK-2 (SS-N-15)? They are still in the inventory, and execute the same anti-sub function much more effective than "Shkval", IMO.

Hi Lurker, interesting reading about RPK-7 and 2. What is a NATO comparable weapon?

canoe
29 Nov 06,, 12:09
Hi Lurker, interesting reading about RPK-7 and 2. What is a NATO comparable weapon?

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/vla.htm

As a general rule of thumb the U.S doesn't use nuclear weapons in the anti-ship/sub role anymore however. Conventional weapons are preferred to avoid the political fallout.

I'm sure they probably still have some nuclear toys sitting in long term storage somewhere though.

Dreadnought
29 Nov 06,, 14:10
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/vla.htm

As a general rule of thumb the U.S doesn't use nuclear weapons in the anti-ship/sub role anymore however. Conventional weapons are preferred to avoid the political fallout.

I'm sure they probably still have some nuclear toys sitting in long term storage somewhere though.

You would be surprised at whats still on the shelf from days past. All still very usable mind you.;)

Garry
29 Nov 06,, 16:00
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/vla.htm

As a general rule of thumb the U.S doesn't use nuclear weapons in the anti-ship/sub role anymore however. Conventional weapons are preferred to avoid the political fallout.

I'm sure they probably still have some nuclear toys sitting in long term storage somewhere though.

Hi Canoe, it seems to me that these are bit different - ASROC is launched by surface ships while RPK-7 is launched by submarines from torgedo hatches. Do I understand things correctly?

canoe
29 Nov 06,, 16:25
Hi Canoe, it seems to me that these are bit different - ASROC is launched by surface ships while RPK-7 is launched by submarines from torgedo hatches. Do I understand things correctly?

There was a Mk-45 ASTOR I beleive though you'd have to be completely out of your mind to use it as it would probably take out both the enemy and the friendly sub at the same time.

gf0012-aust
18 Dec 06,, 07:37
as for the cav weapons,

I guess the last word on the USN's cav weapons might go something like, "lost but not forgotten". :)


the USN already has cav weapons operationally deployed/employed. Both Galrahn and RickUSN will probably be aware of it/them.

Garry
18 Dec 06,, 07:42
the USN already has cav weapons operationally deployed/employed. Both Galrahn and RickUSN will probably be aware of it/them.

I guess it does. There was enough time to catch up even if there was nothing in the begining... and we know that USN was working on this for long. So we are in the new age - short range battles between subs would be now much more decisive and faster!!!

gf0012-aust
18 Dec 06,, 08:01
So we are in the new age - short range battles between subs would be now much more decisive and faster!!!

the weapons aren't sub based - yet. UDT is undergoing a huge transformation. Its far more significant IMV than the F-22/JSF media events, and/but its deliberately being kept low key.

Garry
18 Dec 06,, 08:41
the weapons aren't sub based - yet. UDT is undergoing a huge transformation. Its far more significant IMV than the F-22/JSF media events, and/but its deliberately being kept low key.

but why would you need a non sub based cav weapon? Isn't it faster to deliver torpedo to the point with a rocket rather than shoot these 10km with a non-guided cav torpedo/shell? I mean your rocket will cover those 10km much faster and then your torpedo would be very close to targe!!!

gf0012-aust
18 Dec 06,, 08:46
but why would you need a non sub based cav weapon? Isn't it faster to deliver torpedo to the point with a rocket rather than shoot these 10km with a non-guided cav torpedo/shell? I mean your rocket will cover those 10km much faster and then your torpedo would be very close to targe!!!

you're assuming that its a torpedo. you're assuming an anti-sub role.


UDT involves more than torpedoes... and/or submarines ;)

Transient
18 Dec 06,, 12:17
you're assuming that its a torpedo. you're assuming an anti-sub role.


UDT involves more than torpedoes... and/or submarines ;)

The RAMICs has been deployed already? Wasn't there some problems with it or something?

gf0012-aust
18 Dec 06,, 12:40
The RAMICs has been deployed already? Wasn't there some problems with it or something?

RAMICs is still going through updates. The irony of RAMICs is that the original 20mm project was achieving 1 shot 1 kill to a "substantial" depth. When USN hijacked Rods project and forced it to go to 30mm they blew out the accuracy stats. The round started coning due to the change in recoil characteristics. Rule No1: when the designer knows what he's doing - let him be and go and annoy another project instead. :mad:

Some of the old team are now on an australian project and there are two other US UDT projects underway that I'm aware of. (my last contact with ex-R-team members being Nov 06)

Transient
19 Dec 06,, 02:23
But I cannot imagine them insisting on 30mm without a very compelling reason if the existing 20mm works fine and meets the requirement. Would one of the other 2 UDT projects be the SUPERCAV project with the VLA motor?

gf0012-aust
19 Dec 06,, 02:27
But I cannot imagine them insisting on 30mm without a very compelling reason if the existing 20mm works fine and meets the requirement.

can't really comment as its a (potential) 3 way litigous issue. (IP challenges)



Would one of the other 2 UDT projects be the SUPERCAV project with the VLA motor?

no