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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

T-15 Nuclear torpedo

The author of the idea of a super-power nuclear torpedoes is considered to Andrei Sakharov, who offered to be used as a "means of delivery" powerful nuclear charge (100 megatons!) the submarine project 627. This is confirmed by his own memories. These torpedoes were to be used against naval bases in the United States, as well as to strike the city located on the coast (although against the latter option were many people, including sailors). The explosion of a bomb formed a giant wave - a tsunami destroyed everything on the coast and even far away from the coastline.

In the second half of the 1940s the Soviet nuclear program had evolved with dazzling speed. It spent enormous resources. The main impetus was the presence of a potential enemy - the United States - a nuclear bomb. The country's leadership was aware of the need to catch up with America, which not only has such weapons, but it has used successfully in operations (nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

The first Soviet atomic charge was tested in 1949. And there was a question as to deliver a nuclear charge on the territory of the United States. Soviet military made several dozen bombs, which the developers have given the name "Tatiana" (probably due to the fact that the index of articles begins with "T") to the United States were only able to Tupolev Tu-4. But in 1952, the low-speed, equipped with piston engines, bombers for the US fighter jets F-86 was easy prey. In addition, the Tu-4 could reach the US territory with only a stopover on the ice airfield at some of the northern islands or on the ice at the North Pole. In this bomber crew had a one way ticket. They had the only way out after the operation - to try to reach the Mexican border and bail out.

Naturally, this situation did not satisfy any of the country's leaders or the military. Therefore, to work out the question of the use of atomic bombs in the interests of various branches of the Armed Forces of the USSR. The country's leaders give preference rocketry and bombers. However, the Navy wanted to get their hands on nuclear weapons.

At the time, the largest class of ships in the Soviet Navy had submarines. The Navy before the war was a leader among the world's countries by the number of submarines. The Great Patriotic War confirmed the effectiveness of actions against enemy communications. Submarines under a layer of water in a nuclear war had a clear advantage over the enemy surface ships. They could get close enough to the coast of the enemy and to strike.

Therefore, the command of the Navy in the first place wanted to have nuclear weapons is on submarines. However, it soon emerged other technical difficulties and problems: the maximum diameter of the torpedo Soviet submarines was 533 mm and the diameter "worn" atomic bomb, tested in 1951 - 1500 mm. What is to be done? Mariners offered to reduce the charge to the required dimensions, and the nuclear experts required to increase the size of torpedoes.

In contrast to missile attack, torpedoes at the beginning of the fifties, when began to appear first nuclear warheads were quite ordinary weapons submarines (PL). Therefore, the main obstacle to a seemingly effortless turning even conventional diesel submarines in nuclear torpedo launchers was the lack of sufficiently compact nuclear warhead.

In 1951-1952. designers KB-11 (Arzamas-16) were developing a nuclear warhead for marine torpedoes in two variants: caliber 533 (T-5) and 1550 mm (T-15). However, if the torpedo armament was for a smaller submarine [PL], organizational placement torpedo tube for "monsters" in diameter over 1.5 m was very difficult even for the largest Soviet submarines. However, the leaders of the Soviet atomic project already knew that, even for naval consumers - on 09 September 1952, J.V. Stalin personally signed the Ordinances of the Government of the USSR "about the design and construction of object 627". This was the first Soviet nuclear submarine (much later, after the adoption of the USSR, the navy, NATO classification symbol "November"). The cyclopean T-15 was created.

It should be noted that if the project is a "small" nuclear torpedo T-5 had been received by the Navy as a minimum, with the understanding that the leadership navy opposed categorically the T-15.

The fact is that different calibres torpedoes reflects not only the purely technical aspects of devices and weapons systems. The different concepts of weapons. If a nuclear submarine torpedo "normal" caliber enhances its tactical possibilities (which, of course, was welcomed by the military), the installation of a torpedo-giant, on the contrary, cutting their narrowed, actually allowing the ship to carry only one operational tasks of nuclear strike on ports, harbors and liberty city. It's not like sailors (as will be seen, not only of tactical reasons), but it was the "window of vulnerability" strategic potential adversary, by which they could not pass the Soviet military planners. Too many not only military bases, and cities are the United States and its allies on the ocean and coasts, and the consequences of such nuclear strikes, even imperfect conditions detonation of a nuclear weapon (zero height at coastline), would be for these countries truly disastrous.

In the meantime, development of the T-5 (or more accurately, the nuclear charge for it) were well under way. On 19 October 1954 this charge (under the symbol RDS-9) was tested at the Semipalatinsk test site, and the first rejection products in the history of Soviet nuclear testing. Needing further refinement of the charge, both land-based testing at Semipalatinsk test site and one (September 21, 1955) Novozemel'skom were conducted. This explosion of 3.5 KT, became the first in the USSR submarine nuclear test. And 10 October 1957 following successful field of governmental testing (underwater explosion 10 kt starting with subs at a distance of about 10 km) torpedo T-5 was adopted. It was the first nuclear weapons and nuclear torpedo rodonacal'nicej Soviet and Russian submarines, designed to meet the operational and tactical challenges of Maritime Theatre (primarily to deal with large ships and enemy submarines navodnymi). Strategically, however, this type of nuclear weapons was not foreseen and not considered in the future.

The initiator of the project T-15 was V.I.Alferov, whose activity was associated at different times with the Navy, the People's Commissariat of the Shipbuilding Industry and the Ministry of Medium Machine Building. Captain First Rank V. Alferov KB-11 took an active part in the creation of the atomic bomb, developed scheme of the system and apparatus for detonating a nuclear charge. Alferov VI, taking advantage of his authority in the industry, immediately after the testing of the first Soviet hydrogen bomb organized a very large-scale development of the torpedo through the hydrogen charge received the designation T-15.

development of T-15 torpedo was launched without the involvement of the Navy. 6th Department of the Navy on this torpedo learned only through the project's first nuclear submarine - "Project 627" - which was the chief designer VN Peregoudov.

The arms of the atomic submarine fleet became known only in December 1953, after the approval of the tactical and technical characteristics of the conceptual design 627. The Mariners is very surprised. In the first compartment of the submarine was placed a huge torpedo tube, which is almost entirely replaced traditional torpedoes. The length of the torpedo was 23.5 meters (22 per cent of the total length of the submarine). On the submarine, except five-foot torpedoes, provided for the installation of two 533 mm bow torpedo tubes with torpedoes for self-defense. Spare torpedoes were not provided.

This unusual arrangement is explained by the dimensions of the submarine developed by NII-400 under the leadership of N. Shamarina. The length of the torpedo was about 23 meters, weight torpedo - 40 tonnes, the weight of the warhead - 3,5-4 thousand. Kg. The main burden falls on the battery that ensures the dash speed of 29 knots, while the cruising range of 30 kilometers. Presumably torpedo T-15 was proposed to use a thermonuclear charge. Torpedo warhead was developed in the KB-11 Minsredmash Soviet Union, under the leadership of Chariton JB Undermining thermonuclear charge was produced shock or remote (hour) fuse. Management firing torpedoes T-15 was provided with torpedo fire control station "Tantalum".

Tactical and technical elements of the submarine were approved 12/21/1953. In July 1954, SKB-143 had completed the technical design of a nuclear submarine. Minsudprom and Minsredmash 10/18/1954 TEHPROEKT presented to the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU. After this, the Ministry of Defence was asked to review the draft and submit its conclusions to the Council of Ministers. Defense Minister Bulganin, NA instructed to deal with this issue Admiral PG Kotov, Assistant Minister for Naval Affairs. Then we decide the question of admission to the project specialists and managers of the Navy. In 1954, the expert committee was formed, headed by Vice-Admiral Eagle AE, head of the Main Staff of the Navy. Navy mainly objected to by the armed nuclear submarine. According to experts of the Navy, the submarine fleet has such weapons is not necessary. In addition, there are serious doubts that the submarine can go to a distance of a torpedo launch of T-15 (40 kilometers), and the torpedo itself works as it should.

Against this background, the results of the examination of the Navy, it was decided to correct a technical project 627 nuclear submarine. Resolution of the USSR Council of Ministers #588-364 of 03.26.1955 TEHPROEKT submarine was approved only with the 533-mm torpedo tubes, and work on the T-15 was discontinued in 1955.

The "nuclear supertorpedo" T-15 later was raised again, and in this context that the great complexity of life comes by itself. It was A.D.Saharov, who after a successful test 30 October 1961 his powerful 58 Mt bomb, thought about the delivery of such charges. It was clear that bulky and awkward "beast" ("superbomba" was 8 m and 2 m in diameter and 27 tonnes) were neither aircraft (in real combat sorties) nor the missile (at least none of those then existing). And that's when Sakharov decided that the delivery system can be a large torpedo. To attack from a distance of several hundred kilometers should become the enemy's ports. Of course, the destruction of the ports with 100 megaton charge and underwater explosion will produce very large loss of life.

Here it is worth turning to Academician Sakharov's Memoirs, where he wrote: "After testing the" big "product, I was worried that for him there is no good carrier (bombers do not count, they are easily knocked down) - that is, in a military sense, our work was wasted. I decided that such a carrier could be a large torpedo launched from a submarine. I imagined that it would be possible to develop a straight-flow water-steam atomic jet engine for such a torpedo. The purpose of the attack from a distance of several hundred kilometers should be the enemy's ports. War on the sea is lost, if the ports are destroyed - in this we are assured by the sailors. The body of such a torpedo can be made very durable, it will not be afraid of mines and fence networks."

But even if the "supertorpedo" as a means of delivery would be an advantage, but had many shortcomings to another kind of weapons, which at that time was developed with unprecedented speed - missiles - including and sea-based.

Sakharov’s superbomb underwent trials at 58 megatons. The projected capacity of the missile was in fact 100 megatons, but the bomb was tested at half-power. The bomb's length was 8 meters and weighed 27 tons. The Soviet Union didn’t have any planes or missiles that could actually carry the bomb. Quite a contradiction. Could they have made supertorpedoes to attack port cities based on the T-15? One of the first people with whom Sakharov spoke about the project was the counter agent and Admiral Fomin. He was shocked by the project's potential of taking so many civilian lives. Sakharov realized the navy was used to openly fighting armed opponents and the idea of such mass killings was revolting. Sakharov never discussed the project with anyone else again. Read his diaries. Life isn‘t easy...

Russia’s Defense Ministry has launched the trials of Poseidon underwater drones at its testing ranges, the ministry’s press office reported on 19 July 2018. "Trials have been organized at the ranges of the Defense Ministry of Russia to confirm the dynamic characteristics of the apparatus [Poseidon] during launches in a real environment and to check the parameters of the apparatus’s movement along the route in autonomous mode," the Defense Ministry said. As of today, comprehensive experimental work on the underwater drone is coming to an end and industrial enterprises have carried out measures for checking the joint operation and the reliability of all the drone’s systems and assemblies, the ministry’s press office said.

"Trials have been organized at the ranges of the Defense Ministry of Russia to confirm the dynamic characteristics of the apparatus during launches in a real environment and to check the parameters of the apparatus’s movement along the route in autonomous mode. All the measures for creating the Poseidon system are being carried out in compliance with the work schedule," Russia’s Defense Ministry said. The development of new strategic weapon systems "aims to increase Russia’s defense capability and prevent any aggression against our country and its allies," the Defense Ministry stressed.

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Page last modified: 23-07-2018 13:45:14 ZULU