Type 53 torpedo

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Type 53 is the common name for a family of 53 cm torpedoes manufactured in Russia, starting with the 53-27 torpedo and continuing to the modern UGST.

With the exception of the UGST which uses Mark 48 style monopropellants, Soviet 53 cm torpedoes generally use electric power, or kerosene mixed with various oxidizers for propulsion. Russian torpedoes are often named descriptively for their characteristics - examples include "acoustic homing" or "electric torpedo", all in Russian acronyms.

The first Soviet torpedo with homing capability was the SAET-50. The 53-61 was the first Soviet homing torpedo to exceed 40 knots.

The 53-65 torpedo family are Russian made, wake-homing torpedoes designed to destroy surface ships. The 53-65 became operational in 1965, while the 53-65K and 53-65M both became operational in 1969. The 53-65KE is an exported version. China received an unknown number of 53-65KE torpedoes from Russia after purchasing 4 Kilo class submarines in the 1990s.

The Type 53 torpedo is carried by almost all Russian submarines, including the Kilo class and the Akula-class submarine.

The Type 53-65 torpedo is considered especially threatening by the United States Navy because they do not respond to usual torpedo countermeasures. Normal countermeasures are decoys that use noise to divert homing torpedoes, but the Type 53-65 uses sensors that detect the churn made by ships moving, then follows the chopped water in an S-pattern between the wakes until impact from up to 11.8 mi (19.0 km; 10.3 nmi) away. Wake homing torpedoes have caused the U.S. Navy to develop the Surface Ship Torpedo Defense (SSTD) system that employs a maneuvering Countermeasure Anti-Torpedo (CAT) that seeks and intercepts an incoming torpedo.[1]

53-65 Specifications[edit]

  • Primary function: ASUW torpedo
  • Power plant:
    • 53-65 and 53-65M: Kerosene-hydrogen peroxide turbine
    • 53-65K: Kerosene-oxygen turbine
  • Length: 7.2 m (24 ft)
  • Weight: 2,070–2,300 m (6,790–7,550 ft)
  • Diameter: 533 mm (21.0 in)
  • Range:
    • 53-65: 18,000 metres (20,000 yd)
    • 53-65K: 19,000 metres (21,000 yd)
    • 53-65M: 22,000 metres (24,000 yd)
  • Speed:
    • 53-65 and 53-65K: 45 kt (52 mi/h, 83 km/h)
    • 53-65M: 44 kt (81 km/h, 51 mi/h)
  • Guidance system: WAKE homing
  • Warhead: 307.6 kilograms (678 lb) high explosive
  • Operational since:
    • 53-65: 1965
    • 53-65K and 53-65M: 1969


  1. ^ Navy Develops Torpedo Killing Torpedo - News.USNI.org, 20 June 2013

External links[edit]