Indian Navy

Torpedo: An Underwater Missile To Destroy Enemy Vessels

Torpedo is a weapon launched underwater or sometimes above the water surface to destroy the naval assets of enemy. It contains an explosive warhead, which explodes when encounters the ships or submarines. Some torpedoes are designed in a way to detonate before coming in contact with the vessel. These have a specified minimum range to activate near the ships. The shape of a torpedo is like a tube or cigar. It comes in the category of self-propelled underwater missile. Any naval ship, submarine or even airplane can launch this weapon.

Modern torpedoes contain advanced systems. As a result, these weapons, once launched can determine depth and direction on their own. In addition to this, these are extremely stealthy so that enemy finds it difficult to track their path. Modern torpedoes can be categorized into Lightweight and Heavyweight classes. The accuracy of new torpedoes is very high and they are very destructive for naval vessels. And they can be launched form various platforms, which gives the operator side a very big advantage.

Which Type Of Energy Sources Are Used To Power A Torpedo?

  • Compressed Air

The first successful self-propelled torpedo used compressed air as its energy source. It was capable of travelling up to 180 meters. In addition, it achieved an average speed of 12 km/hr. Later models and versions were improved in the speed and accuracy aspects. Those were improved with the application of increased pressure of the stored air.

  • Heated Torpedoes

This is another interesting method to provide energy to the torpedo. It was started in 1904. In this method, air is passed through an engine, which lead to an idea of injecting a liquid fuel into the air and then igniting it. As a result, air gets more heated leading to its high expansion while burning more propellant adds more gas to drive the engine.

  • Wet Heater

This was another improvement in the technology. It used water to cool the combustion chamber of fuel-burning torpedo. This was a major development in reducing the heat produced. As a result, efficiency of the fuel increased. Torpedoes having this system are called as wet heaters and heated torpedoes without steam generation are dry heaters.

  • Compressed oxygen

In this method, torpedo uses pure compressed oxygen instead of compressed air, which displayed better performance compared to earlier torpedoes.

  • Electric Batteries

Electrically propelled torpedo was invented in 1873. A cable from an external power source powered it, as batteries of the time had insufficient capacity. Germany introduced its first torpedo of this kind before World War II.

  • Rockets

Rocket propulsion was first used by Soviet Union successfully. Before that, many attempts tried to achieve the goal but were not successful.

  • Modern Energy Sources

Modern torpedoes use a variety of energy sources. These include electric batteries, monopropellants as well as bipropellants.

Ways To Escape From The Attack Of A Torpedo

In earlier times, torpedoes were made to be launched from submarines only. Now, modern technology has opened the doors for other naval vessels also. The ships, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft can now launch torpedoes.

Escaping a torpedo is a very complex task. If a torpedo successfully tracks you, you have extremely low chances to escape or dodge it. Torpedoes are undoubtedly fast and agile underwater and can destroy any ship or submarine in no time. To escape from the attack of any torpedo:-

  • The submarines should always try to remain hidden underwater in the first place because torpedoes are fast and give no chance to escape. The submarine must be stealthy or technology advanced enough to keep itself a secret in the water.
  • But what to do if a torpedo is coming towards you? Some submarines have advanced systems that can change the path of the torpedo by jamming its system. If you are able to do that, there are chances that you will remain safe.
  • Use countermeasures just as fighter aircrafts use to avoid the incoming missiles.
  • Depth of the submarine can be changed alternatively. As a result, torpedo will find it difficult to track the submarine.

Yash Gupta

Hello everyone, Myself Yash, a student trying to share thoughts with you. I Like to read about Military and stuff.

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