MOSCOW – While a lull in great power competition delayed the impact of this new technology, the so-called supercavitating torpedo may be about to take the world by storm. The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article
The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:
6 Dec. 2019 -- One of the most innovative underwater weapons developed by the Soviet Union was the VA-111 Shkval (Squall) supercavitating torpedo.
Highly classified, Shkval was virtually unknown before the end of the Cold War and only became common knowledge in the mid-1990s. The rocket-powered torpedo was capable of astonishing speeds of up to 200 knots an hour. But in a world where physics ensured most ships and underwater weapons topped out at 50 knots, how did Russian engineers accomplish such a breakthrough in speed?
Traditionally, torpedoes use propellers or pumpjets for propulsion. Shkval, on the other hand, uses a rocket engine. That alone is enough to make it fast, but traveling through water creates major drag problems. The solution: get the water out of the path of the torpedo. But how, exactly does one get water of the path of an object in the middle of an ocean?
John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics