Wire guided torpedoes

#1
Caught the tail end of a German programme the other day about submarines and the Bundesmarines latest toys. The bit I found interesting was the mention of a wire guided torpedo with a range of 20 kms. That invites the question, what is the maximum range at periscope depth at which a reliable visident can be made on a potential target (sea conditions permitting) or could a target be attacked using sonar information only?

Another point of interest was the German Navy's practice of bouncing unsuspecting surface vessels including their own Navy. Does the RN do that as well.

No intention to compromise Opsec here.
 
#2
Crabman said:
Caught the tail end of a German programme the other day about submarines and the Bundesmarines latest toys. The bit I found interesting was the mention of a wire guided torpedo with a range of 20 kms. That invites the question, what is the maximum range at periscope depth at which a reliable visident can be made on a potential target (sea conditions permitting) or could a target be attacked using sonar information only?

Another point of interest was the German Navy's practice of bouncing unsuspecting surface vessels including their own Navy. Does the RN do that as well.

No intention to compromise Opsec here.
Crabman

If you mean by bouncing unsuspecting surface vessels that a boat will carry out a attack with out actually firing torpedoes then yes. This was of course decided by where you were dived, what your operating orders were and what operational duties you were enge
aged in at the time. It would be a decision made by the Captain.

When the Firth of Clyde was populated daily with D/E boats lots of booze was put on the lottery of which boat would be the first to get in position and do an attack on the latest well publicised ship to be built on the Clyde such as QEII or in this day HMS Daring.

A Google search on Mk. 23, Mk. 24, Tigerfish and Spearfish plus Royal Navy Torpedoes will give you all the info you want that is not security covered
 

scouse_B

Lantern Swinger
#3
I served on the Otter when it was a target boat and we did the tests on the stingray torpedo of Falmouth in the early 80's. It was well strange sitting on the roof watching the fish first go down our port side then come back round and go down the starboard side and when we were dived and they would do a hitting run, try as we might we never once put the bugger off and I am eternally glad they were just practice fish :violent2:
 
#4
When you say early eighties, Scouse, it must have been mid 84 or later (when I left TTU(Clyde))because of the safety aspect. They couldn't get all the onboard computers to agree with each other, so the bugger wouldn't flash up at all!
 
#5
You betcha a target could be attacked using sonar bearings only. Passive bearings at that. Active...you just tell the whole world what you're up to and for what...maybe a range.
Well if you had him on broadband then he's close and because he's on broadband the CO will fire everytime in a shooting war. If you hold him on narrowband then it's a whole new ball game and much more iffy. It's still possible to fire on TA brgs only but the run to target is going to take a lot lot longer.
When firing weapons on the range at AUTEC we put one weapon in the water and the XO sent it on a tour of the range first before it found the target. In it went YEHARRRRrrrrrrrrr then.......end of run...out of wire and battery power. It ditched the lead shot and up it came to the surface. To say that the maximum use was dragged out of that weapon is an understatement. We managed to do two re attacks with each weapon. The aim was to run the weapon under the target (HMS Churchill) each time. Churchill was sprinting about left and right trying to break contact but when you sound like a sowing machine there's not much chance of achieving a break trail.
Notice I've not once referred to the weapons as a 'TORPEDO'. If the sound room say the T word the CO very probably will take the boat into evasion tactics and start to zip around the range at Maserrati speeds!
I enjoyed AUTEC running...I enjoyed Coco Beach even more!
 
#7
Yeah but the Mk 24 MOD2 was somewhere near where we wanted to be with a stealth weapon. It was reliable and veryyyyy quiet.
I liked 'em. Not like that monster they get to play with now! What an evil machine a Spearfish is and fast........................!!!!
 
#8
SELJUK said:
I enjoyed AUTEC running...I enjoyed Coco Beach even more!
Cracking run but sadly Coco Beach is no longer used. AUTEC running boats now use Kings Bay. Now while there's no such thing as a bad run, Kings Bay is no substitute for Coco.
 
#10
Bouncing unsuspecting surface ships was a common habit in the 70s, as there were a large number of ex-submariners doing their "Grey time" as DD/FF COs. We fired a green grenade at a DLG whose skipper was our previous Captain SM 2, who was not a happy bunny at all - especially as HE spotted the green flare first.........
 
#11
pompeyexpat said:
SELJUK said:
I enjoyed AUTEC running...I enjoyed Coco Beach even more!
Cracking run but sadly Coco Beach is no longer used. AUTEC running boats now use Kings Bay. Now while there's no such thing as a bad run, Kings Bay is no substitute for Coco.
How about Andros Island then?

Anyone recall the Thousand Fathom Club (TFC)??

....or that wonderful establishment outside the
base....called SKINNYS??. Did ten weeks loan
draft on AUTEC....the place was crewed up with
barking-mad Americans (some ex Vietnam Helo
pilots/Sea-Bees) all completely nuts, and the base
was infested with packs of stray dogs...10 weeks
on far too much extra money...mostly rat-faced.
 
#12
I remember one trip over to Faslane,and we were asked to participate in torpedo exercises, strange feeling sitting in the after ends in ultra quiet and hearing the whine of the torpedo as it sped towards us, they fired 2, one went right under us and the other hit forward and bounced her way down the ballast tanks aft, what a racket...

The funniest time, was an exercise with Sea Kings, and one of their torpedoes lodged itself right into the conning tower, what a laugh...(hate helos...;) )

Or the time in St Croix, and we fired 6 and only 1 actually left the tube, 1 was hanging out and had to be pulled out, the others just didn't want to play.... :dwarf:
 
#14
Cannot speak regarding "fish tales" but many will know doubt recall simulated depth charges, a cluster of grenades lobbed over the side from a grey funnel. Like sitting in a dustbin being hit with a sledge hammer, it certainly broke the silience!!
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#15
For reasons I never understood, HMS Newfoundland in the 50s in FES carried one and only one depth charge. No rail or thrower or anything for it. Eventually we rolled it over the side on some sort of shopwindow display day. WOOMFAH!
 
#16
BillyNoMates said:
[
How about Andros Island then?

Anyone recall the Thousand Fathom Club (TFC)??
The TFC is still there, premier nightspot on the base. Not sure about bars off the base. Only left it once in the times I've been there and we went to a place called 'Colors'. Friendly place and a free shot of Bahamian rum on arrival.
 
#17
SELJUK said:
You betcha a target could be attacked using sonar bearings only. Passive bearings at that. Active...you just tell the whole world what you're up to and for what...maybe a range.
Well if you had him on broadband then he's close and because he's on broadband the CO will fire everytime in a shooting war. If you hold him on narrowband then it's a whole new ball game and much more iffy. It's still possible to fire on TA brgs only but the run to target is going to take a lot lot longer.
When firing weapons on the range at AUTEC we put one weapon in the water and the XO sent it on a tour of the range first before it found the target. In it went YEHARRRRrrrrrrrrr then.......end of run...out of wire and battery power. It ditched the lead shot and up it came to the surface. To say that the maximum use was dragged out of that weapon is an understatement. We managed to do two re attacks with each weapon. The aim was to run the weapon under the target (HMS Churchill) each time. Churchill was sprinting about left and right trying to break contact but when you sound like a sowing machine there's not much chance of achieving a break trail.
Notice I've not once referred to the weapons as a 'TORPEDO'. If the sound room say the T word the CO very probably will take the boat into evasion tactics and start to zip around the range at Maserrati speeds!
I enjoyed AUTEC running...I enjoyed Coco Beach even more!
Interesting reply there Seljuk, I seem to remember that in the Falklands War, the ROEs required Conqueror to visident the target before firing, which is why the Vientecinqo May didn't get to imitate a submarine and join the Belgrano, fog prevented any sighting. Pity.

As an after thought, in the TV programme I saw, the torpedo recovery ship also served as a target! Must have felt a bit strange as both boat and ship left harbour together and shortly after the boat dived leaving the ship all alone, well not quite the boat was there somewhere, just couldn't be located. Apparently the torpedo was not just a practice round, but recorded its activities for later analysis.
 
#18
BillyNoMates said:
pompeyexpat said:
SELJUK said:
I enjoyed AUTEC running...I enjoyed Coco Beach even more!
Cracking run but sadly Coco Beach is no longer used. AUTEC running boats now use Kings Bay. Now while there's no such thing as a bad run, Kings Bay is no substitute for Coco.
How about Andros Island then?

Anyone recall the Thousand Fathom Club (TFC)??

....or that wonderful establishment outside the
base....called SKINNYS??. Did ten weeks loan
draft on AUTEC....the place was crewed up with
barking-mad Americans (some ex Vietnam Helo
pilots/Sea-Bees) all completely nuts, and the base
was infested with packs of stray dogs...10 weeks
on far too much extra money...mostly rat-faced.


Had 24 hrs there $3.50 Aircon room Scran $1.50 to $2.50per meal(all the ice cream you could eat,if that way inclined.

Rum punch?/Mai tai?about $2.00 Big queue at the bar, Skimmers off the Newcastle? Get 4 wets give $10 next round still a queue get served straight away $10,Skimmers getting grumpy cos we got served with out queueing the rest of the day the drinks were brought to us fantastic service. :dwarf:

The bar staff did not get paid and lived on tips bigger the tip the better the service. :dwarf: A great day
 
#19
I believe one of the earliest wire guided fish was the Mk23, in the early 60's, with a range of around 5 miles, maybe more, and that was invariably guided using passive sonar. I recall there was a large illuminated perspex screen in the CR. There was a "plotter" and a steerer and he just pointed the thing in the direction of the sound.
The wire dispenser hung out of the torpedo tube on an umbilical cord that was connected inside the tube and we therefore could not shut the bow doors until we cut the dispenser lose.
 
#20
SELJUK said:
Yeah but the Mk 24 MOD2 was somewhere near where we wanted to be with a stealth weapon. It was reliable and veryyyyy quiet.
I liked 'em. Not like that monster they get to play with now! What an evil machine a Spearfish is and fast........................!!!!
Having lost two of my years to Tigerfish, or the Mk 24 as it was then, I feel it was a much maligned weapon mainly because too many people thought it could do more than it was designed to. Tha basic design brief was for a reasonably quiet ANTI SUBMARINE weapon and for the timeof is design it did that job reasonably well. RNTF and then Marconi had the unenviable task of trying to produce in volume something that had been designed in an ivory tower at Portland, Marconi did a reasonable job of making it manufacturable and capable of meeting much of the keypoints of it's spec. The fact that the MOD had done nothing about designing a new anti surface torpedo, or thought about adding the capability to the Mk 24 was not the designers or the getwell teams fault, they knew what was needed, but had to make what was asked for.

Finally when you consider it cost a fraction of the price of a Mk 48 which itself went through many rebuilds and upgrades to become what it is today perhaps thedesigners didn't do that bad a job considering their budget and contraints.
 

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