War Hero

I thought about posting this in the submariners forum but decided to put it here, if any MODS want to move it then thats fine.

I was watching one of the sky discovery channels last night and the programme was about the sinking of the Kursk, now what got me was the conclusion of the programme was that a USN Submarine actually torpedoed the Kursk after colliding.

I can fully understand the colliding theory but sureley it's a step to far to say the yanks torpedoed it....Isn't it?

The link at the top shows what is claimed to be the entry hole of a mk 48 (?) torpedo, again would a torpedo just slice through the hull and explode or would it explode on contact....Not having had any training or knowledge of torpedos I haven't got a clue as to how they behave.

I'm all for a good conspiracy but this has to be a step to far.........
I didn't think that they were impact weapons any more, I thought that they exploded either underneath, or at least within a certain range, of the target. That hole is obviously not an entry point for a torpedo (in my opinion) anyway, because all of the damage is forward of it. Surely it would be in the middle of the damage ?
I think lamri is right, dont torpedoes now explode within a few metres rather than hit directly? I think it spreads the damage out more. rather than damage a specific area which wouldnt necessarily sink the sub. Then again, I dont really know what im talking about, feel free to enlighten!

Torpedo is self-propelled guided projectile that operates underwater and is designed to detonate on contact or in proximity to a target.
Torpedoes may be launched from submarines, surface ships, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. They are also used as parts of other weapons; the Mark 46 torpedo becomes the warhead section of the ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket) and the Captor mine uses a submerged sensor platform that releases a torpedo when a hostile contact is detected. The three major torpedoes in the Navy inventory are the Mark 48 heavyweight torpedo, the Mark 46 lightweight and the Mark 50 advanced lightweight.
The MK 48 torpedo is not designed to hit its target, but will explode as it passes close by, therefore there cannot be an 'entry hole'. Even if a torpedo did hit the target, there is no way it could punch through the hull and explode internally. Torpedoes are not exactly armour piercing shells.

In spite of what the conspiracy theorists would have us believe, it is almost certain KURSK was sunk by an internal explosion caused by the HTP fuel used in the Russian torpedoes.


Shows the effect a MK 48 has on its target. When this film was first released the conspiracy theorists, used to a diet of Hollywood torpedo attacks, tried to say that explosives had been placed aboard TORRENS and detonated remotely.


Book Reviewer
It comes back to the same old thing, could you keep 100+ Matelots quiet if they sunk another boat, same with the collision theory, not only the Matelots but foreign workers in a dockyard would have to be kept stum,
A peroxide fueled torpedo was dropped during loading and it is believed that it was this weapon that caused the explosion on the Kursk.
From Bellona:
Oscar-II” class submarines have four 533mm torpedo tubes and two 650mm torpedo tubes. The two 650mm torpedo tubes were reportedly loaded with 65-76-type torpedoes armed with conventional warheads. Two of the four 533mm torpedo tubes had USET-80 torpedoes with electric propulsion inside also armed with conventional warheads. The two remaining tubes were loaded with practice torpedoes. In addition, 18 torpedoes and tube-launched missiles with conventional warheads were in the torpedo room.

65-76 torpedo (65cm / 11m) designed in 1976. The 65-76-torpedo propulsion is based on reaction of concentrated hydrogen peroxide with water. The reactionÂ’s output, hydrogen, is pushed under pressure to turbine. Hydrogen peroxide is contained in a metal tank inside the torpedo.

The study says that uncontrolled process in hydrogen peroxide can lead to pressure growing inside the tank it is contained in. If the pressure relieve valve is broken, it can lead to an explosion. The pressure inside the torpedo fuel tank can also grow if the torpedo is exposed to fire.

Another option is leakage of hydrogen peroxide and its contact with a combustible material as well as a presence of an ignition source.

The last option is the collision with an underwater object what could lead to leakage of hydrogen peroxide. But the ignition source is necessary for a fire to start.

The study also says that given 200kg of hydrogen peroxide leaked out and fire started, then the pressure created could be high enough to destroy the wall separating the first and the second compartments as well as the hull of the submarine.

The growing pressure in the torpedo compartment and the temperature rise of up to several thousands Celsius degrees could trigger off the warhead explosions of other torpedoes.

The study does not make any final conclusions regarding the cause of the Kursk disaster, but explains the events onboard the submarine that fit in the overall picture rather neatly.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Was working at the Maritime Data Centre in Gibraltar when the Kursk sailed on its maiden deployment from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and also saw some 'very' interesting intel when she sunk, but due to OPSEC, annot divulge here... 8O :wink:


Book Reviewer
If High Test Peroxide comes into contact with brass or copper fittings inside the torpedo it can cause an explosion, such as that caused on HMS Sidon in 1955.

See here HMS SIDON

A Court of Enquiry absolved anyone aboard Sidon of blame for the loss of the boat. The direct cause of the accident was determined to have been the malfunctioning of the safety features of the torpedo. This particular experimental torpedo programme was terminated shortly afterwards. Two years later Sidon was scuttled in Lyme Bay as a sonar bottom target
Ironically, the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk may have been caused by a similar torpedo.
sgtpepperband said:
Was working at the Maritime Data Centre in Gibraltar when the Kursk sailed on its maiden deployment from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and also saw some 'very' interesting intel when she sunk, but due to OPSEC, annot divulge here... 8O :wink:
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