Submarines: January 8, 2003

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Russia has several new torpedoes, mostly for the export market. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, so did payments for weapons. Despite billions spent on developing new weapons, Russia was broke and unable to buy very much. But the weapons manufacturers, at least the ones that survived, continued to introduce new items in the 1990s. Torpedo manufacturers had several new weapons in the works, and some of these made it into production. There is the UGST, a "universal" 21 inch (522mm) torpedo for surface ships, torpedo boats and subs. This weapon weighs 2.2 tons, has a 441 pound warhead, a range of 40 kilometers and top speed of 90 kilometers an hour). The guidance system can home in on target noise, or follow the wake of a surface ship. This torpedo can be fired from as far down as 1,640 feet. The wake following homing is something the U.S. Navy has never figured out how to deal with. This is partly because no one has ever fired a wake homing torpedo at an American ship. But there are plenty of Russian made wake homing torpedoes out there. Two new airborne (helicopter or aircraft) anti-submarine torpedoes were introduced after 1991. The 355mm (14 inch) APR-3 weighs 992 pounds, has a 168 pound warhead and a short range of two kilometers. Uses active and passive sonar and can go down as far as 2500 feet. A longer range airborne torpedo, the 400mm (15.75 inch) APSET-95 weighs 1,587 pounds, has a 132 pound warhead, a maximum range of 30 kilometers and top speed of 90 kilometers an hour.  If American ships get shot at in the future, it will likely be with these torpedoes. 


 


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