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Contrary to the laws of physics: the Russian “Shkval” passing time

Вопреки законам физики: российский "Шквал", обгоняющий время

Modernization supercavitation torpedoes “Squall” included in the Russian state armaments program for the years 2018-2025. This was recently announced by the head of the Corporation “Tactical missiles” Boris Obnosov.

Supercavitation torpedoes capable of going under water in the hovercraft at speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour through flow hydrojet engine. Entered service in 1977.

Initially had a nuclear warhead capacity of 150 kilotons, then got a warhead with a conventional explosive. Today is in service with the Russian Navy. She has a great future.


Established in 1970-e years “Barrage” ahead of its time for decades. The main advantage of torpedoes is incredible marching speed: 100 meters per second. It also determines a number of disadvantages, including high noise, low range (up to 10 kilometers) and a depth of only 30 meters.

The torpedo is not homing, the target is injected directly before the start. In the last century nuclear warhead compensated for all these shortcomings. Modern non-nuclear modification of the torpedo will be greatly improved with the new goals and objectives.

Interest in the world is huge, and the export version of the torpedo “Shkval-e” is worth about six million dollars per unit.

The high price of such weapons is justified. Even ordinary torpedo is a basic and very effective tool of defense and attack naval forces. This weapon was perfected over a hundred years.

If the first self-propelled mines worked by compressed air, or had combined-cycle power plant, the modern torpedoes have become smarter and faster, able to traverse using sonar or electromagnetic fields of the ships and hit targets at a distance of over 50 kilometers.

“Squall” is distinguished from the General number that is “beyond the possible”, using space technologies.

The appearance of a torpedo, outlined the absolute vulnerability of carrier battle groups the US Navy, influenced the development of the strategy and tactics of combat use of forces of the fleet.

Contrary to the laws of physics

The torpedoes appeared on the Russian Navy in 1865, much earlier rocket, and soon mass production of torpedoes started in two factories in Saint-Petersburg. Expansion is natural. Torpedoes do not depend on weather conditions, they are not afraid of a Gale and strong excitement. They are unobtrusive. They are more difficult to destroy.

Torpedoes can be more dangerous than anti-ship missiles (warhead torpedoes more, and the whole energy of the explosion is aimed at the destruction of the ship’s hull, because water doesn’t compress). And yet supercavitational torpedo is a unique story.

The laws of physics on our planet allow the majority of ships and underwater weapons to reach speeds of 50 knots. Hydrojet engine makes the dashboard faster, but the acceleration of the movement under the water meets a significant braking effect. For increasing speed it is necessary to remove water from the path of the torpedo, best to turn a dense liquid into a gas. How is it done?

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Hot exhaust from the rocket engine partially directed into the channels of the bow, and the water ahead of the torpedo is converted to steam. Thus, movement is created and continuously surrounds the torpedo gas shell. The torpedo comes in contact with water only a narrow head, in a gaseous environment is experiencing much less resistance, and reaches speeds exceeding 300 kilometers per hour.

There is another problem: supercavitation complicates maneuvering. The change of direction takes part of the massive hull of the torpedo from the cavity, and dramatically increases the resistance of the medium.

Many people know how hard it is at high speed, stick your hand out of the car, overcoming the resistance of the air flow. Water is much denser. Managed to solve this hydrodynamic problem.

The cavitation head on the nose “Squall” did say no, that is maneuvering itself cavity, constantly keeping the torpedo in his “arms.” On the way to the goal turns should be made at the expense of rudders, and the deviation of head cavitator (pre-program).

Unique in the world.

Torpedoes are often in conflict with the hydrology, that is, with differences of density and temperature of the water at different depths, varying electromagnetic conductivity of the marine environment. “Flurry” was created by representatives of different fields of science. Specialists have spent a huge amount of research.

The achieved stability and handling of the torpedo in a complex environment — a real breakthrough in the field of hydrodynamics. Here we broke away from competitors by at least four decades. Today, such a weapon is commercially available only in Russia.

On the subject of supercavitating torpedoes are specialists in several countries of the world. In 2004, representatives of the German company Diehl BGT Defence announced the creation of supercavitational torpedo “Barracuda”, equipped with the latest homing system. Supposedly the speed is so high that it overtakes its own sound wave propagating in water.+

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To detect this torpedo is very difficult, but in fact the “Barracuda” did not reach the level of the sold product.

The United States is developing such a torpedo since 1997, but there are ready samples are still there. In 2000, an American citizen Edmond Pope tried to secretly buy in Russia the documentation on “Flurry”. More successful is the modernization of the American torpedoes a long-range Mark 48, placed on submarines.

The torpedo carries out the search, capture, and attack targets with speeds up to 55 knots and range of about 40 kilometers. But it is easy to understand, far from the “Squall”.

Supercavitation Russian torpedoes already forty years old do not have analogues in the world and, according to Boris Obnosov, go into the lead. By the way, and antitorpedo only has the Russian Navy.

Of course, the Navy is important not in and of itself. The Maritime power of the country is the basis of security, economic growth, presence and influence in the World ocean.

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