It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Submarine Question

page: 1

log in


posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 07:32 PM
I'm curious about the placement of the torpedo doors on submarines. THe US and I think the UK prefer to have the doors amid ship, I've noticed the soviet/russian boats have them right in the very front.

What is the reasoning behind where both countries decide to put their torpedo doors in very different places.

For the Soviet subs. do they place the tubes right up front because of some issue with double hulls that would make it undesireable to have them placed amid ship? Wouldn't the doors being right in the front cause drag and water flow issues when they open. does that positioning of the doors make for a relatively noisy situation regarding water when open or do they put them up front because it's easier to flood the tubes with out using loud pumps or something. Whats russias reasoning behind where they place their tubes.

For the US boats. do we put them amid ship because there is some sort of hydrodynamic water flow issue. ie. the doors are placed in that position on the boats because there is less water turbulence and it makes it quieter to have them open with less water noise or drag. Do they do it because of some of the types of weapons the US subs might deploy and it's easier to drop them out of the boats from the sides and away instead of forward and ahead of the boat like in the russian designs. Do the US boats have the tubes there because they don't want the sonar/ and whatever other equipment they have along side the sonars etc... to be effected by the weapons or vice versa. Is the US sonars/electronics suite so much more robust or intricate than the soviet ones that there is simply no room in the front of the boat for a torpedo room. Do the US boats have them amidship because they are uncomfortable with them being right up front in the event of some sort of collision with and undersea mount or enemy sub.

Just curious about the logic behind why both countries seem to have very different ideas about where they should place their torpedo tubes.

Also, while I'm at it why do you guys think the US and most other countries go for the singled hull design and the soviets go for the double hull design. Are either sides not concerned with the advantages the other countries design could have. I understand everything is a trade off one way or another but why do you guys feel the US favors single hull, soviets double hull.

posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 10:38 PM
US boats tubes are aft of the bow (they aren't amidships) to make room for the large, spherical arrays that provide(d) the US support sonar capabilities. With the advent of high-performance conformal arrays, this is no longer a constraint.

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 12:12 PM
Yeah I meant behind the bow back about a 3rd of the way or so. I figured amidship would have been the word, but I ain't no sailor so my terminology is all screwy.

What are these new high performance arrays? How do they not constrain the torpedoes? Are they much more compact and so there is more room in that area of the boat now affording more configurations or different placement of the tubes or something totally different.

And what in your opinion is the reasoning behind the russian ideas of placing them right in front.

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 03:24 PM

Originally posted by BASSPLYR
I understand everything is a trade off one way or another but why do you guys feel the US favors single hull, soviets double hull.

Single hull has to be easier to construct and QA. I forget, are Russian boats a double pressure hull design ? Or is the space between them a free flood area ?

I guess the design philosophy is redundancy and possibly extra armor.

Single hull is lighter, thus faster for a given reactor power, and likely simpler from a sound silencing/flow noise perspective.

Russian torpedo tubes doors maybe directly on the bow, but I bet they're angled slightly from center line.

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 08:47 PM
I think most russian subs (except for boats like the typhoon) are single pressure hull design with two outer hulls with a free flooding area in between. Could make them quick at diving and surfacing quickly I guess, more torpedo protection.

I understand that we put our sonar right in the front of the boat. I presume the soviets do too. So where do they put it (sonar) behind the torpedo room in the boats that have the tubes right on the bow. Wonder why they would do that.

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 09:53 PM

Originally posted by BASSPLYR
What are these new high performance arrays? How do they not constrain the torpedoes? Are they much more compact and so there is more room in that area of the boat now affording more configurations or different placement of the tubes or something totally different.

And what in your opinion is the reasoning behind the russian ideas of placing them right in front.

Conformal sonar arrays are, simply put, antennae that are scattered across the hull of the submarine - a bit like lateral side line nerves of certain fish. The concept itself is not new, but by now they have gotten so good that they can actually replace functions of the huge wide aperture arrays the USA likes to put in the bow of their boats.

Its not really an idea of the Russians to place the tubes in front, this is pretty usual all over the world. The USA however has these gigantic sonar arrays filling the whole bow on some of their types, which pretty much necessitates the "amidship" placement of the torpedo tubes. Its nothing about hydrodynamics and drag, there simply is no room in the bow.

Maybe member Orangetom can add more information.

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 10:40 PM
reply to post by BASSPLYR

Good evening Gentlemen, Salutations all around.

Lonestar has it pretty much correct. The arrays have significantly improved over the years and the improvements are coming more rapidly today.

The bow of the 688 class boats was designed around the large spherical array. This necessitated moving the torpedo tubes slightly aft and also canting them slightly outward. Not a problem with today's systems.

I have seen submarines with six torpedo tubes..horizontal straight through the bow. Also seen four tubes two over two right through the bow as well.
The sonar on these boats is configured to work around this torpedo arrangement. All this on older boats. Today the tubes work around the sonar arrangement. Of course there is the addition of the conformal arrays described by Lonestar..along the sides of the hulls. But this does not affect the location of the torpedo tubes.

Nonetheless..improvements are continually being made on the arrays. This may bode changes in the tube locations once again on different designs.

Seems to me Oxillini posted a site about the new block III arrangement and modifications to the Virginia Class Boats...a new type of array as well as new arrangement for the VLS missile tubes.

Checking to see if I can find the link.

The block III changes are further down the page. The batch 2 changes at the top of the page.

Note the configuration of the sonar. It is obvious that the sonar is strategically placed for effectiveness both in the older array and the Block III arrangement. It was similar on the 688 class boats.

THis is also a significant change in the VLS tubes. Much simpler than the complex arrangement in the picture as is currently ..with 12 tubes...12 complex hatch actuators etc etc. This new design is an adaptation of what they are doing on the SSGNs in the Ohio class modifications for VLS Tomahawk missiles. About time someone came up with this. Keep It Simple Stupid. KISS. A Lot less piping...a lot less complex electrical runs..a lot less hatch actuators...yada yada yada.

It is very dangerous working under that free flood area...where all the missile tube actuators are located. You'd better know what you are about and how to check out the safety devices in each tube. Hydraulic systems too. These new hydraulic systems work very very quiet and quick. So you'd better know what you are about when stepping into or around one of these tubes. Same with torpedo tubes...know what you are about. Same thing with antennas being raised or lowered in the sail. Safety First!!

Thanks to all for their posts,

[edit on 25-1-2009 by orangetom1999]

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 12:56 AM
THanks for everybody who contributed to this thread. As always the posts were very thoughtful and informative.

These conformal arrays located around the boat make a lot of sense to me. I'm sure they can pick up all sorts of stimuli from magnetic changes, to passive acoustic stuff. they still must have a need though for the active arrays that they put up front. I guess along with everything else they are getting much smaller with the advancements of technology. Leaving room for even more techno gadgetry in the forms of god knows what to be added in, thus increasing the roll and capabilities of the boats.

Orangetom you mentioned the silentness of the doors on these boats now a days. I imagine they would be whisper quiet and open and close very fast, and that the scenes in movies like the hunt for red october where the sonarman goes- "Sir they just opened their outer doors!!" are a chuckle to the guys that actually work/serve on the boats and know that those doors have stopped making any sorta noise for a while now. And, that the enemy better be looking for a whole lot more that the sound of the doors opening if they want to triangulate the position of the boat out there stalking them. I imagine that just about all the pumps are near dead silent too.

Where have you seen the configuration where two of the tubes go from the torpedo room through to the direct bow of the boat. And why would they choose to do such a thing. wouldn't the side doors be enough. or are those other two doors slightly different in size to accommodate slightly larger packages (not necessarily the explosive kind)

Also, why do I keep getting nightmares of falling in the ocean, opening my eyes underwater, and seeing a boomer baring down on me about to ram me or get me sucked into the propulsor? Should that be something to talk to somebody about. that and the fear of not just sharks when I go surfing but of having a sub surface from underneath me. Not that it could happen when I'm that close in waiting for another set of waves to come, but I have turned around to see a grey whale surfacing about 100 feet further out from me. to think something that large was swimming around while I floated helplessly on the surface is scary. Wonder how many times I took the ferry over to catalina island and the boat sailed unaware over a lurking 688. I know they're out there cause I saw the Honolulu entering avalon bay once. Subs are amazing and they do inspire awe if you look at them right.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 12:28 PM

I'm going to make this quick as I must soon needs shove off for the day.

Yes there were parts of the movie "Hunt for Red October " which I found funny merely from being in the trades. Same for Tom Clancy's books. I realized that he cannot exactly tell the public how it is and there are certain misdirections/misinformations in those books as well as misdirections/misinformations in the movie adaptations.

THe boat I mentioned with the six tubes forward, was a boat which came in this yard for some work just before decommissioned. It was a Skipjack class fast attack boat. IT was unusual in design both outside and of course inside as well. You can find it in this link along with many other designs and it will also link you to others boat informations.

THis boat was to my surprise very very small and cramped inside. I mean beyond the Sturgeon class 637 boats which, up to that time, I had considered very small submarines. Little did I know!! I believe the boat which came in to dry dock 3 at that time was in fact the Skipjack. The last of her kind.
This boat was to me unusual in that she had a very tall sail structure with the fairwater planes on them. What was also unusual to me was that she also had a access door on the side of the sail as did the olde class of boomer boats. This door has been deleted on fast attack boats today. One less hatch to maintain. Keep It Simple Stupid. KISS. This boat also had the tightest engine room spaces I had ever seen. Very small and cramped.

It would not be beneficial for me to go into why the movie was crap about "opening the outer doors," but suffice it to say was crap in this regard. You would have to be literally up the donkey of a US Navy boat to hear the doors opening in the manner described in the movie. It would also be extremely risky against a boat running today's detection systems.
If you are lucky enough to hear a US Navy boat of today opening its outer doors...grab your ankles.

As to the pumps etc...the specifics of these quieting arrangements are highly classified and rightly so!! There are lives at stake here..not just these sailors and the boats on which they serve but their families as well as the future of this nation.

Gotta make haste now..
Thanks for your post
Hope all is well out west.


posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 06:52 PM
I'll never need or want specifics on these boats. It's not my business to know. Just idle curiosity.

I agree that there have got to be magnetic and electrical field sensors on boats nowadays that will know if anything metallic is getting anywhere near a Boat. probably part of that conformal array.

Just figured that along with the motors and doors the pumps must be dead silent for necessity.

posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:25 AM

Ever look at a device called a Sony Walkman or something like the CD players of today. In the olde days the battery requirement for these gadgets was some 4 AA type batteries. Today it is two AA batteries to do the same work. If I am not mistaken many of them today are going to like...two AAA batteries. The battery requirement is much less than the olde days. A 50 percent decrease in battery requirements is nothing at which to turn ones nose up. This represents a quantum leap in motor/bearing design and effeciency.
There are significant improvements coming in motor design and these improvements will effect the whole field...from air compressors in our air motors for automobiles...etc etc etc. Some of this has been written about in Popular Mechanics and other magazines of this genre.
This is going to affect all of us in the future already is doing just that.

I think it is called superconductor technology??

I'd be willing to bet you that the military..particularly the US Navy is well ahead of the curve and planning to invest heaviliy in this changing field.
No one has told me this is just something one senses when you look around at what is happening..sometimes right in front of you.


posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 06:08 PM

Doing a quick search on superconductors its no wonder you pointed me in that direction to study. They really can do a whole lot more than one generally realizes. Lots of potential applications for the stuff.

posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 08:10 PM

What I have been hearing, unofficially of course, is that in the long run it will simplify the huge warehousing problem the military and particulary the US Navy has in keeping track of the multitudes of different types of motors currently needed in maintaining a fleet.

Most of us on these forums look and marvel at the technology and gadgets the military uses with awe. We do not often consider the huge degree of difficulty the planners and maintenance people have in keeping all these goodies working. This means parts and skills, both arriving at the right place at the right time to get the job done and the planes/boats out again. And this means a effecient warehousing system 24/7.

The concept with these new class of motors is that one common type of motor will do more jobs and replace the huge stocks of different types currently maintained. Hence ..simplifying the process over the long run.
These motors are supposed to be smaller yet, with superconducter technology capable and able to do the same job as many different types currently warehoused. Simple commonality is hoped to replace a complex warehousing problem and hence streamline and simplify the process.

I know a guy, a machinist, retired Chief out of the Navy, He was part of a maintenance team who would often be sent to different parts of the world to repair ships which were having particular problems unsolvable by the people on board or at that particular port. Very interesting stories he would tell about not only repairs/supplies at those remote locations but also stories about having priorities in getting parts and tools as well...shipped to remote locations such that they could get the ship back out to sea. The CO's of these brokedown ships had a lot of heat on them. Anything he wanted most of the time was put at his disposal. He is one of those olde guys who seem to know sailors and various peoples all over the world. He has a certain Chiefs belt buckle he always wears and gets immediate respect ..even in his retirement ...from the sailors and other Chiefs on the boats he is working here in this yard. From the Officers as well. Very interesting phenomonon to observe. These olde Chiefs seem to have some kind of exclusive club or arrangement ..even in retirement. Everyone seems to know something about which us outsiders haven't a clue.
Very nice guy...salty at times but very decent....that is ...if you can carry the load. If you cannot ..he has little use for you.
Well...that is the way these olde timers work. I dont fault him one bit for that working philosophy. Carry the load or carry your a-- on down the road. They don't need you. He is this way even in his retirement from the Navy. No need to change now.
Nonetheless it is interestng to hear his stories about how, when needed , they could get a part/parts, tools, and even certain people shipped around the world on short notice.

So you see BASSPLYR, to be able to simplify the supply/warehousing problem would be a big boon to maintenance ..all up and down the line. And by this ..getting ships back out to sea where they are needed.
Superconducters have this potential, properly developed.


[edit on 31-1-2009 by orangetom1999]

new topics

top topics


log in