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Chinese Navy - Torpedoes

Nowadays, countries with a little technical foundation can develop missiles, and there are nearly 20 countries capable of manufacturing submarines. However, there are only a few countries with independent design and manufacture of modern torpedoes. It can be said that modern torpedoes are one of the most difficult naval technologies to develop. China is one of the countries that can independently develop and produce torpedoes.

In 1866, more than 100 years ago, British engineer Robert Whitehead and Austrian Rubis succeeded in developing the first torpedo in human history that could sail automatically in the water. Later generations call this torpedo a "whitehead" torpedo. The "Whitehead" torpedo opened the first page of the history of modern torpedo and became the originator of the development of torpedoes in various countries. Whitehead was also recognized by the world navy as the father of modern torpedoes.

A torpedo is a submerged weapon that is launched by a combat platform to launch water into the water and is automatically steered under controlled conditions to destroy enemy surface ships and submarines. It has good concealment and high probability of hitting. The killing power is great. After the end of World War II, there have been statistics showing that the tonnage of transport ships sunk by torpedoes in naval battles totaled 14.45 million tons, accounting for 68% of the total tonnage of sunken ships; large and medium-sized surface combat ships sunk by torpedoes A total of 369 ships, accounting for 38.5% of the total number of large and medium-sized surface combat ships that were sunk, the great power of torpedoes in naval battles.

In order to facilitate the understanding of the development of modern torpedoes, modern torpedoes can be distinguished as follows: from the power mode, they can be divided into battery-powered (electric) torpedoes and thermodynamic torpedoes; from the way of launching, they can be divided into surface ships and The submarine's tubular device launch, rocket assisted flight and aircraft airdrop; from the use of the distinction, can be divided into anti-submarine torpedo, anti-ship torpedo, anti-ship anti-submarine torpedo, anti-torpedo torpedo and underwater preset torpedo; The guidance method can be divided into direct torpedoes, self-guided torpedoes, line guided torpedoes and composite guided torpedoes; from the torpedo caliber, it can be divided into super heavy torpedoes (above 533 mm) and heavy torpedoes (533 mm). Light torpedo (324 mm) and ultralight torpedo (less than 300 mm).

For submarine warfare, most people's cognition still remains in the German World War II submarine movie: With the captain's command, the torpedo fired and hit the target exploding within visible distance. In fact, after decades of development, the modern torpedo has the characteristics of large voyage, high tracking, and even “no matter after launch”, almost equivalent to a small unmanned submarine with its own warhead.

Because the Sino-Soviet split during the early Cold War occurred well before the Soviets fielded wake-following weapons, it seems unlikely that early Chinese torpedoes embodied this technique. The German, Franco-Italian, and Russian anti-ship torpedoes all embodied wake-following guidance for use against surface ships. However, the Russians almost certainly transferred the relevant technology when relations between the two countries warmed following the Cold War. At present, the more advanced torpedoes basically adopt the method of “remote control + self-guide”. Self-guided devices are mostly acoustic self-guided, active, passive and active-passive combined. The new type of torpedo is mostly combined.

The fuel of the heat-powered torpedo is a kind of propellant. The heat engine on the torpedo is used to convert the chemical energy into kinetic energy. It has the advantages of fast speed and long range, and is mainly used for heavy torpedoes. The power of the electric torpedo is derived from the battery equipped there. The motor is used to convert electrical energy into kinetic energy, because the noise of the motor is relatively small and is not easily detected by sonar, and is usually used for medium and light torpedoes.

The naval main ships of the mainstream countries in the world are gradually using gas turbines as power, and the advantage is that the ship can reach the highest speed with a short reaction time. In order to effectively attack such targets, the speed of the torpedo is at least 1.5 times the speed of the target ship.

In addition to the speed of the ship, another contest between the surface ship and the torpedo is between the effective detection range of the ship's sonar and the effective power range of the torpedo. In order to ensure the safety of the torpedo itself, the submarine needs to launch the torpedo outside the effective detection range of the enemy ship's sonar. Therefore, the larger the torpedo's voyage and the better the tracking technology, the more effective it can be to kill the opponent on the premise of better preservation.

During the 1980s, China acquired torpedoes from Western sources. China’s relations with European countries have also been greatly improved, and many European countries have also opened the door to arms sales to China. At that time, China purchased 40 A244S light anti-submarine torpedoes and launch systems from Italy, and copied them in the case of digestive technology (it is said that China also obtained heavy-duty A184 torpedoes). At present, the anti-submarine weapons of the Chinese Navy Air Force's Z-8 and Z-9 helicopters are mainly whitehead torpedoes. The torpedo is one of the most advanced light anti-submarine torpedoes in the world. Its power is lead-acid battery. It adopts tri-frequency pulsed active and passive dual-audio guidance system, and is equipped with a pre-set search and motion mode seeker. The torpedo has a diameter of 324 millimeters, a length of 2.6 meters, a maximum speed of 30 knots, a maximum range of 6 kilometers and a warhead of 34 kilograms.

In addition, in the early 1990s, China introduced two 877 and two 636 Kilo submarines from Russia, along with the several torpedoes that they carried with the boats. In fact, the Russian torpedoes had certain technical content, level and skills and tactics are still good, but in this piece is the weakness of the old Maozi, and how much is also affected in the torpedo. When China purchased Kilo, it also purchased Supporting Russian torpedoes, including: TEST-71, TEST-96 and 53-65.

1.TEST-71 type: TEST-71 type torpedo has a diameter of 533 millimeters, a length of 8.2 meters, a warhead of 205 kilograms, battery power, a maximum speed of 45 knots, a maximum range of 19 kilometers, and is guided by the middle line guide terminal. Passive joint guidance mode, submarine and surface ships can be used, the mission is anti-submarine warfare.

2. TEST-96 type: It is a modified type of TEST-71 type, and its performance is more advanced. It is a multi-functional torpedo, which can be used for both anti-submarine and attacking. The guiding method is not only the active-passive combined acoustic guidance of the midway guide terminal. Turbulence guiding devices have also been added to enhance the ability to attack ships.

3. 53-65: 533 km diameter, but the propulsion system is a thermal power unit, 7.8 meters long, with a maximum speed of 50 knots and a maximum range of 19 kilometers. The mission is to attack the ship, to guide the automatic mode of turbulence, submarine or surface ship. Both can be equipped with this type of torpedo. According to the Russian side, the Chinese Navy has obtained the production license for the latest turbulence-guided torpedo from Russia. Due to the current turbulence-guided torpedoes and the lack of effective interference and counterbalance techniques, the introduction of this technology will greatly enhance the operational capabilities of the Chinese Navy's submarines.

4. China purchased 40 VA-111 "Storm" underwater rocket torpedoes from Kazakhstan in the 1990s. This rocket uses the supercavitation principle, which can reach 200 knots under water. At the same time, China also started negotiations with Russia on the purchase of the corresponding technology, and began to work on the development of the Chinese version of the "Squall". The Chinese version of the storm torpedo can hit the weaker underwater part of the US aircraft carrier that is within 90 kilometers.

All of these are Chinese domestically developed projects. There are foreign technical components, but by now, they have basically been digested and absorbed and become our own. The number of fish 1 in the navy is very small. The current situation of Fish 2 is still unclear. Fish 3 and its improved type are the current main force. Fish 4 is already behind at the current level. The imitation MK46 is still in use. It is estimated that the domestic model has been out for a while. The number of Whiteheads is less. One more thing is that the rocket-assisted anti-submarine missiles that have been hidden in the cloud until now are still half-covered.

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Page last modified: 03-10-2021 16:36:55 ZULU