Ukraine unveils new loitering torpedo ‘as gift to Russian Navy’
The Russian Black Sea Fleet faces a new threat. Information about a new Ukrainian torpedo appeared on the web. It was developed by the Ukrainian group Brave-1 – a specialized team for the development of weapons, based on the circumstances and nature of the war in Ukraine.
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The new torpedo is more of a loitering munition type, writes submarine expert H I Sutton. The torpedo is called the Toloka. Sutton wrote on his blog that Toloca could prove to be a torpedo with comparative flexibility. He explains that Toloka’s flexibility will be due to “thrusters that are mounted at the end of each horizontal stabilizer.” These thrusters are used for both propulsion and steering.
More about Toloka
As Sutton writes, the new Ukrainian torpedo has a tubular body, a large keel and the already mentioned horizontal stabilizers. Toloka has a communication mast equipped with a camera. It is this mast that may not allow the torpedo to sink, but to float on the surface of the water. According to Sutton, this is a compromise, but the Ukrainians have clearly decided to do it. It is not yet known what the speed and range of the new loitering torpedo will be.
Such type of weapons are difficult to detect by the enemy. Mostly due to the fact that they are above the water surface or underwater weapon systems. The American expert suggests that the explosive is actually in that part of the torpedo that is under the water. This means that when you collide with the enemy vessel, the possibility of it being sunk is much higher. According to Sutton, this torpedo will have a new version “4 meters long and claimed to have a range of 1,200 km or a 400 km radius of action.”
Brave-1 is actually an initiative of the government of Ukraine. The idea of the people behind the project is to promote innovative solutions and proposals for new weapon technologies that can serve the Ukrainian army. Anyone can give their idea by registering and sending their proposal through the initiative’s website.
The platform is a suitable place to share a variety of ideas from around the world. In this way, access is gained to experience that the Ukrainian forces have not had until now. Exchange of experience is also one of the advantages of the initiative.
Approved ideas are developed and tested. At the moment, Ukraine has quite a lot of access to its Western partners, who can easily provide access to grants, hackathons and investments in turn. I.e. a submitted idea may not only prove to be effective, but may also receive funding, thereby further developing it and even entering mass production.
Ukraine is not the first to use underwater drones. There are reports that when Ukraine sank the Moskva ship in April last year, underwater drones were also involved in the air attack using R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles. According to some, these were Ukrainian developments, according to others, British underwater drones.
However, the fact is that Ukraine uses explosives that are not only resistant to high loads underwater, but can also be detonated underwater. Such a blast is the PE8, which is also British. The use of this explosion became known last year, when the Russian armed forces managed to shoot down a kamikaze drone. After examining it, the Russians determined the presence of PE8.
PE8 is a development of Chemring Energetics UK Ltd. According to the manufacturer, this bang is very easy to model and shape by hand. This allows not only to acquire a different explosive shape, but also the weight of the explosion. The company says it’s extremely easy to install.
What kind of blast the new Ukrainian Toloka underwater drone uses is unclear. But it is clear that Kiev has access to technology that would help make the Toloka an extremely dangerous weapon. “A gift for the Russian fleet that they did not expect,” commented experts in the field of underwater warfare.
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