Torpedo is a terrifying invention, it can destroy a big warship just in one shot. The explosion caused by torpedo produces a very large air bubble under the ship, giving a pressure load in the hull which can lead damage to all parts of the ship. Unlike the ordinary firearms weapon that loses its power when shot underwater –because of the water density– torpedo can travel underwater because it has own propulsion such as battery-powered electric motors or fuel-powered engine. It can drive up to several miles to reach its target, so it needs a sufficient driving system to achieve its mission. Besides the propulsion system, torpedo also contains guiding systems to control its depth and direction as well as to activate the explosive when it strikes the target.
Generally, the torpedo can be divided into lightweight and heavyweight classes (over 1000kg) carrying explosive tens of kilograms. Into straight-running, autonomous homers, and wire-guided. They can be launched from various platforms such as submarines, surface ships, helicopters or airplane. Here are the examples of the famous torpedoes in the world:
- Heavyweight Torpedo F21
F21 is a torpedo owned by the French Navy. It can swim at speeds of 25-50 knots for one hour to find their submarine enemy. The F21 can be operated in depth ranging from 10m to 500m and is driven by quiet electric propulsion based on the silver oxide-aluminum (AgO-Al) primary battery which makes the French Navy’s position keep unknown.
- Lightweight Torpedo Mk. 54
Mk. 54 built by the US Navy. It has 276kg weight and integrated with 44kg high-explosive warhead. The propulsion systems powered by liquid propellant which provides the maximum speed of 40 knots.
- Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo
Spearfish torpedo is used by submarines of the Royal Navy (UK’s naval warfare force). It has 1850 kg weight and integrated with 300 kg explosive warhead and it is directed towards the target by high-capacity guidewire system and passive-active sonar. The propulsion system using liquid monopropellant with its oxidant allow the Spearfish to reach targets within 48km at low speed.
As mentioned above, the average torpedo has a considerable weight. It is impractical and cannot be carried personally. On a small scale, the torpedo is not the right weapon. With this said, let me introduce you a bullet that can work underwater more efficiently than a large weapon: GP Bullet. GP bullet can move forward while evaporating the water in front of it, creating a thin gas bubble to reduce the water density.
Also as known as supercavitation. It makes the GP bullet move at high speed due to the small resistance it received. GP bullet also very practical because it can be applied to the various warhead and do not need to require a special firearm to use it.
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