Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Their summary of Iran's new torpedo:

However, there is also the matter of credibility and capability. For decades, Iran has continually boasted of new, Iranian designed and manufactured weapons, only to have the rather more somber truth leak out later. Iran's weapons design capabilities are primitive, but the government has some excellent publicists, who always manage to grab some headlines initially, before anyone can question the basic facts behind these amazing new weapons. Take, for example, the new wonder torpedo. The Russians have not had any success convincing the world's navy that their rocket propelled torpedo is a real threat. For one thing, the attacking sub has to get relatively close (within seven kilometers) to use it. Modern anti-submarine tactics focus on preventing subs from getting that close. For that reason, the Russians themselves tout the VA-111 Shkval torpedo as a specialized anti-submarine weapon for Russian subs being stalked by other subs. This is also questionable, because Shkval is essentially unguided. You have to turn the firing sub and line it up so that the Shkval, on leaving the torpedo tube and lighting off its rocket motor, will be aimed directly at the distant target. Do the math, and you will see that there is little margin for error, or chance of success, with such a weapon. If the Iranians bought the Shkval technology from Russia, they got the bad end of the deal.

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