Launching torpedoes

Guns, torpedoes, mines, bombs, missiles, ammunition, fire control, radars, and electronic warfare.
Francis Marliere
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Launching torpedoes

Post by Francis Marliere » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:59 pm


when a torpedo is launched, is there a visible sign such as flash or smoke visible from other ships ?
If there is a visible sign, at which range can a ship can see it ?

Thanks for any help,


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Re: Launching torpedoes

Post by tommy303 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:42 pm

There were two methods--compressed air or a small cordite charge in a special pressure chamber. Normally the compressed air method left no signature of a launch at any particular range--you would be more like to see the fish leave the tubes if close enough. The same with the cordite charge--a small puff of smoke, perhaps, but not usually anything else unless there was oil accumulated in the tube which might be ignited giving a flash visible a night.

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Re: Launching torpedoes

Post by Rictar » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:42 am

The answers given by the last response are indeed correct. The surfaced launched torpedos (Mk9 in the RN) were fired using a small charge. There was no visible flash as I recall, this being captured in the expansion chamber. Submarine launched was by air. Now however they are launched by water discharge. A large hydraulic ram forces water into the tube thus ejecting the torpedo, as the ram travels in one direction forcing water into the tube it is refilling the otherside of the piston for the next shot. This is virtually a silent shot, and there is no need to have a bubble capture system so surface ships cannot see them when the rise to the surface.

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