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Why are current American torpedoes have flat noses?

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posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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The Mark 50 and Mark 48 torpedoes have flat noses, which brings up the question as to why is that? Does it have to do with sensor or sonar performance? After all, if you want a fast torpedo, you expect the nose to be almost bullet like shape nose, curving like the bow of a submarine, not like the hollow rounds for a handgun or submachine gun.

[edit on 20-3-2006 by deltaboy]




posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:40 PM
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You know, I’ve wander this for along time too, I always figured there was a good reason for it so I just didn’t bother trying to find an answer.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 08:41 PM
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The blunt head is necessary to create the supercavitation effect.

Supercavitation is an extreme version of cavitation in which a single bubble is formed that envelops the moving object almost completely. At velocities over about 50 meters per second, (typically) blunt-nosed cavitators and prow-mounted gas-injection systems produce these low-density gas pockets (what specialists call supercavities). With slender, axisymmetric bodies, supercavities take the shape of elongated ellipsoids beginning at the forebody and trailing behind, with the length dependent on the speed of the body.

Credit to Everything2



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 09:14 PM
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Hmmm. Flat nosed torpedos ? While my gut tells me that Lordling has nailed it,
there is always an alternate, more mundane explanation.

Could it be simple re-cycling? In all the tests, those that hit and don't go bang
get re-cycled and used again. These would be flattened, thus easy to tell ?
(Smirk)



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 11:09 PM
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It's all about the sonar array in the nose of the weapon. The transducers themselves require a flat surface. If you use very small transducers that would conform to the shape of a bullet-like torpedo, they would be very short ranged... I think!!



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 01:44 AM
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The photo may depict either a Mk-54 or Mk-50. This class of torpedo is designed for shallow water performance during air-launch in an ASW role. The blunt nose does indeed serve a dual purpose, housing an advanced acoustic homing head comprised of sensitive transducers, as well as producing an undisclosed supercavitation effect for improved handling in shallow waters. This unit is normally deployed from surface ship launchers (DDG/FFG), or ASW helicopters.



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 02:44 AM
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Nice idea, but the US does not yet deploy supercavitating torpedoes - this would create a prblme with both propulsion and steering.

The only known supercavitating one is the Russian Shkval, which is rocket-propelled and can't steer.

Hydrodynamics is complex and the relatively blunt nose may reduce friction; but there may be other reasons too. Missiles aren't exactly needle-pointed either.



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 04:09 AM
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I thought that looked like a small torpedo..compared to the ones I've seen in the racks on 688 class boats.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 05:01 AM
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It has nothing to do with cavitation as the front is the not quite the right shape to maintain a bubble and the torp doesnt go fast enough to extend it over the full length. All western supercavitataing torpedos are at an R and D phase at the moment, nothing is in service.



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 05:24 AM
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You guys are thinking too much along the lines of aerodynamics... hydrodynamics are similar, but you have to change a few things.

The flat nose with rounded edges actually does reduce friction in water. It has to do with the turbulence of the water along the body of the torpedo. It also prevents the torpedo from becoming a stiff arrow.

Making the nose a conical shape depicts that the torpedo is intended to go straight and do little else.

Todays topedos are meant to turn, and turn alot harder than their predecessors. With a conical head, todays topedos wouldnt be able to turn that fast.

I suggest some reading up on hydro-dynamics. I came across this when I decided that in my spare time I would design a personal submarine... an idea I soon scrapped for obvious reasons.



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 07:21 AM
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Originally posted by johnsky
You guys are thinking too much along the lines of aerodynamics... hydrodynamics are similar, but you have to change a few things.

The flat nose with rounded edges actually does reduce friction in water. It has to do with the turbulence of the water along the body of the torpedo. It also prevents the torpedo from becoming a stiff arrow.

Making the nose a conical shape depicts that the torpedo is intended to go straight and do little else.

Todays topedos are meant to turn, and turn alot harder than their predecessors. With a conical head, todays topedos wouldnt be able to turn that fast.


well said! I am sure there will be a detailed description in a textbook somewhere (try either basic ship theory or Principles of Naval Architecture)



I suggest some reading up on hydro-dynamics. I came across this when I decided that in my spare time I would design a personal submarine... an idea I soon scrapped for obvious reasons.


Why give up, there are plenty of people out there who have built personal subs, more and more information is available on the net. Most people fail because they dont do enough planning before they start to build. Although not a true sub (it can only stay underwater for 20 secs or so) my personal favourite has to be from innespace

www.innespace.com...

anyone think this has the makings of a similar project to the ATS planes in the aircraft forum????

[edit on 21-3-2006 by paperplane_uk]



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by paperplane_uk


well said! I am sure there will be a detailed description in a textbook somewhere (try either basic ship theory or Principles of Naval Architecture)

Could you name a book for us that are trying to get into the field?



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 03:20 PM
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The Skaval can steer.

The Skaval does infact have guidance fins.

There was a model with a nuclear warhead from '77 that could only fly straight but that has sence been improved.



posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by johnsky

The flat nose with rounded edges actually does reduce friction in water. It has to do with the turbulence of the water along the body of the torpedo. It also prevents the torpedo from becoming a stiff arrow.


After consulting again with my TMCM (ret) friend, I admit I got carried away, and misstated supercavitation for mere cavitating effect.

The rest of the information I posted was, I believe, accurately relayed from him. My apologies.



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 06:23 AM
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Could you name a book for us that are trying to get into the field?



Basic Naval Architecture

Depending on the depth you wish to go into there are 1, 2 or 3 volume texts

Introduction to Naval Architecture: Formerly Muckle's Naval Architecture for Marine Engineers (1 Volume) by Tupper

Basic Ship Theory (2 Volumes) by Rawson and Tupper

Principles of Naval Architecture (3 Volumes), prduced by SNAME (Society of Naval Architects and Marine Emgineers, USA) www.sname.org (VERY EXPENSIVE)

Marine Propulsion

Marine Propellers and Propulsion by John Carlton
Resistance and Propulsion of Ships by Harvald

Hydrodynamics
Marine Hydrodynamics by Newman (MIT press)

Cavitation
Fundamentals of Cavitation by J-P Franc and J-M Michel


These are all basic introductory texts, for more in depth you would have to look at journal and conference preceedings.

[edit on 23-3-2006 by paperplane_uk]



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 07:15 AM
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I think that I have to go with LardBoy's explainantion of the guidance radar and sonar system fitted to the fish in question.



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 08:14 AM
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I speak from experience.... I am an ex-RN submarine weapons officer.... gives me a bit of background....



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 08:20 AM
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The reason that US torpedoes have flat noses is very simple. The nose is flat because the warhead uses a shaped charge explosive. The flat nose allows for the proper formation and direction of the warhead's explosive force. This allows the torpedo to do more damage while using a smaller lighter warhead.



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 02:31 PM
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"The reason that US torpedoes have flat noses is very simple. The nose is flat because the warhead uses a shaped charge explosive. "

Get serious. The shaped charge can be way back in the body of the weapon behind all the guidance etc to give some standoff, see for example the cutaway of the Hellfire here -

www.fas.org...



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by Wembley

Get serious. The shaped charge can be way back in the body of the weapon behind all the guidance etc to give some standoff, here -

www.fas.org...


I'll stand by what I stated previously. The question is why US torpedoes have a flat nose? I never said that the warhead was in the nose. The nose contains the sonar transmitter and reciever for the guidence system. The torpedo in the picture above is the Mk 50. It is designed to be launched from aircraft, helicopters and some surface ships. The purpose of the flat head is to act as a crumple zone on impact, allowing the shaped charge warhead to align itself with respect to the hull of the submarine. A curved nose could possibly allow the direction of the explosive force to be parallel with the hull instead of perpendicular to it.



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