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Is it possible to reintroduce the aft torpedoe tubes?

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posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 01:31 PM
i know that its been since the 1940s that we had subs that had aft torpedoe tubes. its possible to put aft torpedoe tubes on the modern subs if they can reengineer the sub aft. yeah the old subs back in the 40s had propellors in aft and below which avoids the line of sight for the aft torpedoe tubes, however if u can change the angle of the way the torpedoes are fired u can avoid the propulsion and the tail rudder, etc. its logical to have aft torpedoe tubes for a modern sub dont have to turn around to face its attacker or attackers to fire its torpedoe wen u can just fire from behind and continue to run away from hostile torpedoes. yeah it could consume space in the aft but i believe its possible to increase space to hold torpedoes for the tubes in the aft. unless u ATS members prove why its not feasible in this modern time.

posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 02:45 PM
anything is "possible " , but with modern guided fish , you CAN shoot aft , at the expense of range and run time

issues that spring to mind are

1 - aft tubes create another weakness in the pressure hull and disrupt steam lining / sound proofing

2 - efficient use of space , how often would an aft tube ACCTUALLY be used , given you can fire aft already

these two points are simply my guess work

posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 02:55 PM
You are right on ..especially concerning the part about weakness in the prerssure hull. In the older type fleet boats this meant four aft torpedo tubes that had to be built operated and certified. After that they had to be maintained.
The Navy is trying to simplify the number of hull openings necessary to maintain a Submarine. This means fewer hull penetrations/fewer opportunities for leaks into the pressure hull.
More than likely what is going to be fired from submarines in the future is the Tomahawk cruise missles from the vertical launch tubes..more than torpedos. On some submarines the tomahawks are launched from the torpedo tubes as these nations cannot afford the extra expense of 12 vertical launch tubes as do we Yanks.
Submarines are inherantly very stealty platforms and hesitate to fire anything period until absolutely necessary.
I can assure you and others they will get stealthier and have fewer hull openings in the future than is presently done under current designs. And by this I mean nuclear designs and non nuclear.


posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 02:42 PM
I wonder if nuclear shielding comes into it at all.

In most conventional submarine designs the reactors are housed in the rear of Submarines in their own compartment behind masses of shielding. This is logically to keep the reactor as far away from the crew as possible and as close to the drive units. Also it saves on space.

By putting in aft tubes (which will inevitably require servicing) you would inevitably compromise this most effective of designs shield wise and would probably expose the crew to higher levels of radiation with little tactical gain for reasons already stated.

What do you guys think?

posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 06:41 PM
I have always thought that the torpedo tubes should be verticle and have a group forward and aft of the sail. The torp could be launched up and then tip over in the direction of the target. this would give you 360 degree capability. A mechanical device could be used to launch the torp vs an air slug.

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 10:48 AM
If you launch torpedos straight up the boat would have a very tight restriction on the speed at which it could launch. Tomahawks and ballistic missiles are launched from the hover, when you shoot fish you are travelling, sometimes at flank.

The angled tubes in the Los Angeles class (allegedly) invoke a speed penalty, as torpedoes could be damaged during the launch process if conducted at high speed.

As for aft tubes, the advent of pre-programmable and steerable torpedos removed that requirement, you just have to extend the run to enable times to account for the time taken for the fish to do a WIDE 180 and get clear of the launch sub. For surface targets, the Tomahawks have an "over the shoulder" capability for close range targets that are in the subs baffles.

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 11:00 AM
The reason you do not see aft torpedo tubes on a nuclear sub is purely a noise issue. In order to get the best possible chance for a torpedo to hit a target, the torpedo needs to acquire the target as quickly as possible.

Unless you are at a very low speed, the wake/turbulence from the propellors make that difficult. Even with a wire-guided torpedo there is a chance that the wire could snap under the strain.

In order to help offset this, modern torpedo tubes are set at an angle to help with the high deflection shot.

Hope this helps.

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 02:48 PM
The sequence of normal firing of a torpedo from a torpedo tube is that the hull opening is smooth and faired clean with the hull. When the torpedo is fired the outer door opens the innner door is maintained closed by safety interlock mechanisms. At the same time the hull fairing is opened while the outer door does the same. The torpedo firing/ejecting mechanism operates and ejects the torpedo out of the hull. The torpedo tube system quickly returns to the closed position and fairs the hull smooth and clean for what we call "Shoot and scoot" mode. Reloading operations go into effect quickly to prevent the empty tube syndrome. The whole process is very quick and quiet. Depending of course how quiet is the ejecting mechanism
The torpedo doors do not remain open for very long to be a problem with drag. Under normal conditions it is a very rapid evolution.
On American attack submarines the tubes are canted outward at a angle to accomodate the large sonar sphere in the bow . With the caliber of guided torpedos it is not necessary to have the torpedos launched foreward but as one poster correctly stated it makes things easier when underway from a standpoint of drag.
There is little reason to launch a torpedo at very high speed as the noise generated by the boat would be a give away in addition to the additional safety problems. A torpedo stuck in the tube with the outer doors open is not good and it has happened. Stealth is the key in sub operations..right up to the point weapons are launched and weapons can be launched in a stealty mode today. You wouldnt know much till they are right on your backside. When they go active and pick up speed to close is just enough time for a ""
I believe the word used by another poster is pre programmable torpedos. This is such a quantum leap in torpedo technology. This feature of the pre programmable torpedos and advances in boat design and function have dramatically changed the way operations are carried out ...much more flexibility than in the olde fleet boat days.
Great posts Cool Hand and Winchester Ranger T.


posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 02:55 PM
A nuclear reactor is a very heavy component within the hull of a boat. Many tons of steel lead and other shielding are contained within. Also within the reactor compartment is located other very heavy support equipment including pumps and piping. This makes necessary the locating of the reactor more amidships to balance out the boat. American reactors are much better shielded than Russian designs. There are numerious reasons for this ..which I wont go into.
On boomer boats....the large Ohio class the reactors are more aft as the weight problem is offset because the very heavy weight of the whole missle compartment ..foreward of the reactor lends itself to the more aft design and location of the reactor compartment. It is just a matter of balance of the overall concept. What is usually aft is the engine rooms and auxillary machinery compartments plus ballast tanks. Once again ..a matter of practical balance in design and purpose.


posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 03:04 PM
Orangetom - a reloader AND a submariner (judging by the insight of your posts) - an enviable combination.

Thanks for the information, good posts.

posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 03:23 PM
I was always told that the reason that the torpedo tubes were canted outward were for several reasons that you did not mention:
1. To ensure that the torpedo does not get run over in case of failure.
2. To avoid a counterfire torpedo coming in on a reciprical bearing.
3. To allow for close in maneuvering shots.

Guess I can just add one more.

posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 12:03 PM
Thanks for your posts gentlemen.
I am not a ex submariner I am however a machinist in a yard which builds submarines and Aircraft carriers. I have worked every 688 class boat built here in different stages of construction. Also some older 637 class and the old boomers also. In addition I have been involved in the construction of the Virginia Class boats. Particularly the foreward torpedo sections. The explanation of the cant outward of the torpedo tubes here is for the accomodation of the large sonar sphere. These new sonar arrays are very expensive and very powerful hence thier importance especially when the number one mode of operation is."Think Quiet". I contrast this with the older boomers where the tubes were dead center of the bow. The sonar sphere on those boats was differently constructed. On older class attack boats I have seen there were six foreward firing tubes all straight ahead. Obviously the sonar array was of different design to accomodate this torpedo arrangement.
I have spent alot of time in the torpedo rooms and in dry docks out around the tubes and ballast tanks and outer torpedo doors. Some of this you are told and some you can figure out if you can think for yourself and if you have any ability outside of television programming. Those pictures you see on the web of he damaged USS San Francisco..I worked that boat when it was being constructed. It is a good shot of the sonar array..though it is extensively damaged. It saddens me to see the olde girl in such shape.
The shoot and scoot technique is used when you have to get to a safe position. I did not elaborate on the concept that you would not want to cut your wire if you needed to update the information to your running weapon. In this case you would not jepordize the wire by closing the tube on it.
When necessary you would cut the wire and close the doors to go into the shoot and scoot mode.
Cool hand your points made about the reasons for the tubes being canted outward may have merit. Here at this yard the explanation given is for the design accomodation of the large sonar sphere. I dont think the point about running over your weapon is to imporant but the numbers two and three may be true. Maneuvering, to my knowlege, is used along with countermeasures for incoming torpedos.
I am not sure in close in maneuvering shots how close in you can fire due to the types of safety mechanism used in the weapons. This information would be highly classified. The weapons would have to travel out a certain distance from the boat before it arms similar to a artillery shell. No doubt this is a very important safety consideration. Hence my point about your line item one.
There are new innovations and designs coming out in this field some of which I cannot go into for obvious reasons. Suffice it to say that they are lethal innovations and very slick so to speak. Some are told to us some of them are not... you just have to be able to reason further than the next sports event on the television but when you realize what you are looking at ...Wow!!!
Thanks for some great posts and input Gentlemen.


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