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Sr. No.





History of Torpedo


Different types of Torpedos


Propulsion techniques




Fuel used


Engine used

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Page No.

Introduction :


During war or battle conditions quick acting but long range weapons are must to protect (defense) our self or
for attacking. Missiles are very useful in such conditions, which are more powerful and can achieve their
goal very efficiently .Under water Missiles are the new evaluation of technology which is very very effective
during any critical condition for attacking on enemies and to destroy them. Torpedo (U.W.Missiles) can
launch throw submarines as an antiship agent. Torpedoes can attack on ships by launching from ships and
aircrafts also.
Geometry of Torpedo as follow:
Torpedoes are self-contained weapon systems. At the low end of sophistication, they are straight-running
underwater bombs. At the high end, they have active and passive sonar seekers, and can be guided remotely
or send telemetry information over a thin wire back to the launch platform.
The torpedo sub-sections (from forward to aft) are:
1.) Nose section. This section contains the acoustic tracking system. It also houses the electronic
guidance computer.
2.) Warhead section. This section contains the target sensing mechanism. Usually torpedo fuses
detect either impact or the magnetic field of the target. The warhead also contains the main explosive
charge. Modern lightweight torpedoes (dropped from aircraft) carry about 100 lbs. of explosive and
heavyweight torpedoes pack in excess of 1000 lbs.
3.) Propulsion section. This section contains either electric motor and battery or combustion engine
and fuel. The fastest torpedoes use combustion engines. In this case, the performance is limited by
depth due to the back-pressure the engine exhaust must work against. Modern torpedoes can travel in
excess of sixty nm/hr (knots).
4.) Tail section. This extreme after section contains the control surfaces and propeller.

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A typical torpedo looks like this:. Lightweight torpedo

History of Torpedo Propulsion: A typical torpedo looks like this:. Lightweight torpedo We can
define torpedo as the self propelled antiship weapon, which can fly underwater. The powered torpedo, 1 st
produced by English Engineer Robert Whitehead in 1868, for the royal navy was originally developed to fire
underwater, but with further advancements in technology it can be ejected from ship as well as aircraft.

Starting in 1920, British scientist used compressed air with oxygen

(57% oxygen air mixture) to drive them. The Germans (Nazi) used hydrogen peroxide that proved to be the
most promising oxidant in 2nd world war. Now, many modern missiles use Otto fuel; High-test peroxide
(HTP) , Nowadays Warhead capacity also increased from 8 kg to 350 kg with a range of upto 60 km.
In 1995 it was revealed that Russia had developed an exceptionally high-speed unguided underwater missile,
which had no equivalent in the West. The missile had been characterized as a "revenge" weapon, which
could be fired along the bearing of an incoming enemy torpedo.

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Propulsion of torpedos through the water

All supersonic missile are very difficult to stop. What is important is radar.
There are variants of such missile that fly on Mig aircraft, thus if they are released there is nothing much that
can be done. The problem is usually guidance system . Other wise it is hard to get close to a target to shoot
A torpedo is essentially a guided missile that happens to "fly" underwater . A torpedo therefore has a
propulsion system, a guidance system and some sort of explosive device. Torpedoes can travel several miles
on their way to the target, and therefore they need a propulsion system that
can run for about 10 to 20 minutes.
Most missiles that fly through the air use either rocket engines or jet engines, but neither of this work very
well underwater. Torpedoes use one of two techniques for propulsion:

Batteries and an electric motor - This is the same technique that any non-nuclear submarine must use
when running underwater.

Engines that use special fuel - Most engines that we are familiar with, like car engines and jet engines,
draw their oxygen from the air around the engine and use it to burn a fuel. A torpedo cannot do that, so it
uses a fuel that either does not need an oxidizer, or it carries the oxidizer inside the torpedo. OTTO fuel
has its own oxidizer mixed with the fuel. Hydrogen Peroxide does not need an oxidizer.

We don't encounter too many fuels that contain their own oxidizers in our normal lives for two reasons.
When a fuel has its own oxidizer it tends to make it explosive.
For example Dynamite, has its own oxidizer and it is quite explosive .
Rocket engines have to carry their own oxidizer. But because we normally run engines in the air, which
has a good supply of oxygen, carrying the oxidizer means extra weight and hassle which is unnecessary.

The construction of torpedo consists of multistage propulsion. The first big advance was the heater
system, in which the fuel was sprayed into the air vessel and then ignited this produced large amount of
energy, and with this high energy higher speed could be achieved.
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The dry heater was followed by the wet heater, in which combustion chamber was cooled by water. The
steam generated was added to energy and the term steam driven

often applied to these

torpedos.theTurbines used by the USA and British relied on reciprocating engine, until the introduction of
electrical batteries.

Examples of various Underwater Missiles developed by different Countries :



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1. M.K.46

1.SHKVAL (squll)


2. M.K.48

2. KS-100 URAGAN



3. K5






1. SHKVAL (squll)

This high-velocity capacity vehicle - a kind of "warp drive" for water - is based on
the physical phenomenon of supercavitation. The trick is to surround an object or vessel with a renewable
envelope of gas so that the liquid wets very little of the body's surface, thereby significantly reducing the
viscous drag. .
Construction :

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Major Components :
It consists of explosives containing TNT.
This is the special duct cavity used in squll, which produces supercavitation.

The gimbal secures the thrust chamber to the vehicle thrust frame and is mounted on the thrust chamber
dome and elbow assembly. The gimbal is essentially a universal joint consisting of a cross-shaped unit
incorporating bearing surfaces, upper and lower retainers, pillow blocks, and thrust vector aligning slides.
Purpose of the gimbal bearing assembly on the outboard engines is to permit a thrust chamber pivotal
movement. The gimbal provides for positioning and thrust alignment capabilities.

Length: 6m.


Warhead: 1.5 tons(squll-A), 0.5 tons(squll-V)

Weight: 5,940 pounds
Range: 30-60 km
Speed: 375-400 km/hr

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Supercavitation Fundamentals: Ukrainian Institute of Hydromechanics in Kiev, where most of the fundamentals of supercavitating weapons
technology was first developed. Swimming laps entirely underwater is even more difficult, as water
produces 1,000 times more drag resistance than air does.
Naval architects and marine engineers constantly tried to change the hull designs to minimize the frictional
drag of water and fit their ships with powerful engines to drive them through the waves. The torpedo had to
have the surprise element, therefore,came up with a new way to overcome viscous drag resistance and make
it move through water at high velocities. In general, the idea is to minimize the amount of wetted surface on
the body by enclosing it in a low-density gas bubble.
"When a fluid moves rapidly around a body, the pressure in the flow drops, particularly at trailing edges of
the body, As velocity increases, a point is reached at which the pressure in the flow equals the vapor pressure
of water, whereupon the fluid undergoes a phase change and becomes a gas: water vapor." In other words,
with insufficient pressure to hold them together, the liquid water molecules dissociate into a gas.
Under certain circumstances, especially at sharp edges, the flow can include attached cavities of
approximately constant pressure filled with water vapor and air trailing behind. This is what we call natural
cavitation. The cavity takes on the shape necessary to conserve the constant pressure condition on its
boundary and is determined by the body creating it, the cavity pressure and the force of gravity. Naval
architects and marine engineers typically try to avoid cavitation because it can distort water flow to rob
pumps, turbines, hydrofoils and propellers of operational efficiency. It can also lead to violent shock waves
(from rapid bubble collapse), which cause pitting and erosion of metal surfaces.
Supercavitation is an extreme version of cavitation in which a single bubble is formed that envelops the
moving object almost completely. At velocities over about 50 meters per second, (typically) blunt-nosed
cavitators and prow-mounted gas-injection systems produce these low-density gas pockets (what scientists
call super cavities). With slender, ax symmetric bodies, super cavities take the shape of elongated ellipsoids
beginning at the fore body and trailing behind, with the length dependent on the speed of the body.
The resulting elliptically shaped cavities soon close up under the pressure of the surrounding water, an
area characterized by complex, unsteady flows.
In reality, the pressure inside gas cavities is not constant, which leads many analysis problems. As long
as the water touches only the cavitator, supercavitating devices can scoot along the interiors of the lengthy
gas bubbles with minimal drag.

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The cavitator disk will be tilted forward at the top, providing an "angle of attack" to generate the lift
needed to support the fore body of the device. . Just aft of the cavitator sit several rings of ventilation ducts
are provided to inject rocket exhaust and steam into the cavitation bubble to enlarge it. About two thirds of
length from the backside nose there are four spring-out cylinders angled toward the stern. Although they
loosely resemble fins, these spring-tensioned skids actually support the aft end of the torpedo by allowing it
to bounce off the inner cavity surface.

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The Shkval can travel only along a straight trajectory. Steering is possible through the use of cavity-piercing
control surfaces such as fins, and thrust-vectoring systems, which are directional nozzles for jet exhaust.
Extreme care must be taken to keep the body inside the cavity during turns. In future it can be guided by
Remote Control systems.

M.K.-48 (U.S.A.)

A highly capable weapon, the MK 48 can be used against surface ships or submarines, and has been test
fired under the Arctic ice pack and in other arduous conditions.
Primary Function :
Power Plant :

Heavyweight torpedo for submarines

Air Turbine Pump Discharge (ATPD) system;
liquid (Otto) fueled swash plate engine with pump jet

Weapon acquisition
Launching ranges

5.79 meters
1545.3 kg (MK-48);
1662.75 kg (MK-48 ADCAP)
53.34 centimeters
Officially "Greater than 8 km"
1600 yards
1500 to 12000 yards
Officially "Greater than 28 knots (32.2 mph, 51.52 kph)"
Officially "Greater than 365.76 meters"

Search/attack depth

Reportedly 3,000 ft

Run characteristics

Maximum 1500 yards

6-8 minutes

Guidance System
Date Deployed
Unit Cost

Wire guided and passive/active acoustic homing
292.5 kg high explosive
$2.5 million

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M.K.: 46

The MK-46 torpedo is designed to attack high performance submarines, and is presently identified as the
NATO standard. The MK-46 torpedo is designed to be launched from surface combatant torpedo tubes.

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Primary Function
Power Plant

Air and ship-launched lightweight torpedo

Two-speed, reciprocating external combustion;

Mono-propellant (Otto fuel II) fueled

102.36 in. tube launch configuration (from ship)
517.65 lbs
12.75 inches
Officially "8,000 yards"
Weapon acquisition range 1600 yards
launching ranges
1500 to 12000 yards
Officially "Greater than 365 meters"
Search/attack depth
Minimum 20 yards
Run characteristics
Guidance System
Date Deployed

Maximum 1500 yards

Greater than 51.52 kph
6-8 minutes
Homing mode - Active or passive/active acoustic homing
Launch/search mode - Snake or circle search
98 lbs. of PBXN-103 high explosive (bulk charge)
1966; 1979

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SEA LANCE (Anti-submarine warfare stand-off weapon):

The ASW-SOW was approved in 1980s as the 1990s long range ASW system to succeed. Aero space
was chosen to continue weapon development of the SEA-LANCE. The production missile will carry either
MK-50 Barracuda Advance lightweight torpedo. The SEA-LANCE will have speed of MACH-1.5+.
Length: 6.25m
Diameter: 0.533m
Weight: 1403 kg
Warhead: 362.9 kg
Range: 101 to 166.5 km


Usually any explosive contains TNT (Trinitrotoluene). TNT explosive is called as standard explosive. It is
formed by reaction between methyl benzene (toluene) & nitric acid in presence of conc. H2SO4. In case of
SHKVAL it is not necessary to explode it with warhead. SHKVAL has an extremely high speed due to which
it penetrates into target to produce shock waves. These waves are more effective than impact on the target
surface, which produces pressure waves.
Now, the question arises that how effective is the underwater explosion? When underwater explosion takes
place, the explosive gas form a spherical bubble, which rapidly expands until the pressure in the bubble, is
equal to the hydrostatic pressure of the water at the detonation depth. Because of the incompressibility of
water, the peak pressure is higher than that would occur in air, although the pressure reduces more quickly. It
was found that, underwater impulse for the same charge is about 30 times as that air impulse.

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Solid fuels are more efficient than liquid ones thats why most of the torpedos use solid fuel oxidizers
(metallic powder).
One of oxidizer & its composition is given below:
Ammonium per chlorate (oxidizer): 69.6%
Aluminum (fuel): 16%
Sulphur: 10.4%
Iron (as catalyst): .4%
Aluminum, which is relatively cheap, is the most exothermic of these metal fuels, producing a reaction
temperature of up to 10,600 degrees Celsius. One can accelerate the reaction by fluidizing [melting] the
metal and using water vapor. In a power-plant design, the heat from the combustion chamber would be used
to melt stored aluminum sheets at about 675 degrees C and to vaporize seawater as well. The resulting
combustion products move the turbine-driven propeller screws.

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Solid-fuel rocket engines were the first engines created by man. The idea behind a simple solid-fuel
rocket is straightforward. What you want to do is create something that burns very quickly but does not
explode. As you are probably aware, gunpowder explodes.
Gunpowder is made up 75% nitrate, 15% carbon and 10% sulfur. In a rocket engine you don't want an
explosion - you would like the power released more evenly over a period of time. Therefore you might
change the mix to 72% nitrate, 24% carbon and 4% sulfur. In this case, instead of gunpowder, you get a
simple rocket fuel. This sort of mix will burn very rapidly, but it does not explode if loaded properly. Solidfuel rocket engines have three important advantages:
2.Low cost
They also have two disadvantages:
1. Thrust cannot be controlled
2. Once ignited, the engine cannot be stopped or restarted
3.Solid-fuel rockets are useful for short-lifetime tasks (like missiles), when you need to be able to control the
engine, you must use a liquid propellant system
The first and simplest type of gas turbine is the Turbojet How does a turbojet work?
Here, we are concerned with what happens to the air that passes through the engine. Large amounts of
surrounding air are continuously brought into the engine inlet (since the compressor pulls air into the
engine.) At the inlet, the air enters the compressor. The compressor acts like many rows of airfoils, with each
row producing a small jump in pressure. A compressor is like an electric fan and we have to supply energy to
turn the compressor. At the exit of the compressor, the air is at a much higher pressure than free stream. In
the burner a small amount of fuel is combined with the air and ignited. Leaving the burner, the hot exhaust is
passed through the turbine. The turbine works like a windmill. Instead of needing energy to turn the blades
to make the air flow, the turbine extracts energy from a flow of gas by making the blades spin in the flow. In
a jet engine we

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use the energy extracted by the turbine to turn the compressor by linking the compressor and the turbine by
the central shaft.
The turbine takes some energy out of the hot exhaust, but the flow exiting the turbine is at a higher pressure
and temperature than the free stream flow. The flow then passes through the nozzle, which is shaped to
accelerate the flow. Because the exit velocity is greater than the free stream velocity, thrust is created as
described by the thrust equation. For a jet engine, the exit mass flow is nearly equal to the free stream mass
flow, since very little fuel is added to the stream. The amount of mass flow is usually set by flow choking in
the nozzle throat.
The nozzle of the turbojet is usually designed to take the exhaust pressure back to free
stream pressure. The thrust equation for a turbojet is then given by the general thrust equation with the
pressure-area term set to zero. If the free stream conditions are denoted by a "0" subscript and the exit
conditions by an "e" subscript, the thrust (F) is equal to the mass flow rate (m dot) times the velocity (V) at
the exit minus the free stream mass flow rate times the velocity.
F = [m dot * V] e - [m dot * V] 0
This equation contains two terms. Aerodynamicists often refer to the first term (m dot * V) e as the gross
thrust since this term is largely associated with conditions in the nozzle. The second term (m dot * V) 0 is
called the ram drag and is usually associated with conditions in the inlet. For clarity, the engine thrust is
then called the net thrust. Our thrust equation indicates that net thrust equals gross thrust minus ram drag.


A turbofan engine is the most modern variation of the basic gas turbine engine. In the
turbofan engine, the core engine is surrounded by a fan in the front and an additional turbine
at the rear. The fan and fan turbine are composed of many blades, like the core compressor
and core turbine, and are connected to an additional shaft. All of this additional turbo
machinery is colored green on the schematic. As with the core compressor and turbine, some
of the fan blades turn with the shaft and some blades remain stationary. The fan shaft passes
through the core shaft for mechanical reasons. This type of arrangement is called a two-spool
engine (one "spool" for the fan, one "spool" for the core.) Some advanced engines have
additional spools for even higher efficiency.

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It works as that of the turbojet engine. The air that goes through the fan has a
velocity that is slightly increased from free stream. So a turbofan gets some of its thrust from
the core and some of its thrust from the fan. The ratio of the air that goes around the engine
to the air that goes through the core is called the bypass ratio.
Because the fuel flow rate for the core is changed only a small amount by the addition of the
fan, a turbofan generates more thrust for nearly the same amount of fuel used by the core.
This means that a turbofan is very fuel-efficient.
Torpedo tubes are basically large naval guns that used compressed air rather than
explosives to eject torpedo/missile. Most modern submarines use compressed air to force
water into the tube, thus ejecting the torpedo with no possibility of air escaping the tube. One
marked difference between any torpedo tube and a gun is that the torpedo itself is selfpropelling; the tube generally supplies only the initial impetus for the torpedo.

It has two end-doors:

Breech door-is the loading end of tube.
Muzzle door-is the releasing end of tube, which opens into the water.
Both doors are operated such that only one of them is opened at a time. The operating system
is at breech end.
Before firing a torpedo, the tube must be flooded from tanks located within the submarine.
This is done in order to equalize the pressure inside the tube with the pressure from outside,
so the muzzle door may be opened against the resistance of the sea. Also, using water from
tanks within the vessel avoids disturbing the trim of the boat. Similarly, water that enters the
tube after the firing of a torpedo is drained into a tank, helping to compensate for the loss of
the 3,000+ pound torpedo.

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There are acoustic &non-acoustic guidance system used for torpedo. Here we discuses
about acoustic SONAR (sound navigation & ranging).
Active SONAR :
It transmits acoustic pulses in audio frequency band (5-20 KHz) &
pulse rate being variable between 12.5-700 msec. Such variations in both are necessary to
enable adjustment to be made to suit the prevailing ocean conditions.
In case of torpedos active sonar devices (transducer) used with higher frequency
20-35 KHz where the shorter range is offset by that greater spetial resolution. An active
SONAR system reveals its own presense, thus enabling the target to detect it & quickly react.
Passive SONAR:
Passive SONAR is one way traffic, in which the detector is
Hydrophone &very sensitive listing device optimized for submarine noises & which can be
assembled in variety of arrays according to particular task. This system is specified in
detecting & analyzing slow moving target.

At the last we will take review about difference between Missiles lounched from land i.e.Air
missiles and under water missiles

In the air.

Into the water.


Liquid/solid fuel
800 km/hr
5000 Km (max)

Dia: 2m, length: 6m

Mostly solid fuel
About 350 km/hr
90 km (max)

Advantages :
Under water Missile can carry the Explosive up to the target behind the eyes (RADAR or any Detection
system) of enemy. Because it is not easy to detect any weapon or any missile which is moving under water
with high speed.
Range of under water missile is very high it is upto 1500 to 12000 yards and average
speed can be achieved upto 350 km/hr.
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Disadvantages :

Future Development of Torpedo:

can travel only along a straight trajectory. Steering is possible through the use of cavitypiercing control surfaces such as fins, and thrust-vectoring systems, which are directional
nozzles for jet exhaust. Extreme care must be taken to keep the body inside the cavity during
turns. In future it can be guided by Remote Control systems.

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The main purpose of Torpedo / U.W.Missile is to carry the Explosive up to the target behind
the eyes (RADAR or any Detection system) of enemy. Because it is very difficult to detect
any weapon or any missile which is moving under water with high speed.
Thus with the above information at hand I would like to tell u the future scope of, the modern
ASW weapon system & their specification mainly SHKVAL which can be remote control
guided, with increased sensor ranges and can be developed into advanced technology homing
Torpedo.with this I conclude my seminar.

1) World Sea Power (CME)
2) Advanced Technology in Under Water Weapons
3) Janes Defense Weekly
4) Jet Propulsion
5) Rosie Journal

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