Munitions / Torpedoes / Type 53 torpedo

Type 53 torpedo

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Heavyweight torpedo

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    ET-80 (NATO designation)

  • DESIGNED
    Continuous development

  • DESIGNER
    Gidropribor Central Scientific Research Centre

  • PRODUCTION
    Pre WW2 - present

  • PRODUCERS
    Russia - Dagizel
    Russia - Dvigatel
    Russia - Gidropribor
    Ukraine
    USSR - Gidropribor

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    $ 600.000 to 800.000 (Type 53-65 in 1996)
    $ 400.000 to 600.000 (TEST-71 in 1996)
    $ 800.000 to 1.000.000 (UGST in 1996)
    Euro 680.000 (USET-80 in 2008)

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Very good wake homing sensors
    All but latest models mostly less capable than Western counterparts

Introduction

The Type 53 is a denomination for all Russian 533mm torpedoes. The Soviets used 533mm torpedoes since World War 1 and this caliber remains in service with the Russian navy today. The post World War 2 torpedoes are covered here. During the Cold War the Soviet torpedoes were not as refined as the Western ones, but nonetheless very capable. Modern Russian torpedoes can match Western ones in most areas, but production is rather limited.

Layout

The Type 53 family is very diverse as the variants differ in design, dimensions, form of propulsion, type of guidance, size of the warhead, type of launch vehicle and intended target. Most Type 53 torpedoes have the guidance and homing section in the front, followed by the warhead. The fuel or batteries are in the middle and the engine is in the rear. A set of contrarotating twin propellers is present in most versions. Control fins are placed around the propellers.

Guidance

Early versions are straight running torpedoes. Anti ship versions are mostly wake homing torpedoes. Against submarines a combination of passive and active acoustic homing is used. Until the torpedo is in range inertial navigation is used. Later versions use wire guidance and allow for mid course updates.

Firepower

Most Type 53 that are used in the anti-ship role feature a warhead of 200 to 300 kg. Anti-submarine variants have a reduced size 100 to 200 kg warhead. The fuse may either be acoustic, contact or proximity triggered, or be a combination of those. Nuclear tipped Type 53 models feature a 20 kT warhead that is set to explode at a predefined location.

Launch platform

Type 53 torpedoes are used on all Soviet submarines and many surface ships. Most submarines carry a mixture of anti-submarine and anti-surface torpedoes. Surface ships use anti-submarine variants, except for torpedo boats in the early Cold War era that also used anti-ship variants.

Users

Type 53 torpedoes are among the world's most common torpedoes, being widely used by Soviet forces and their allies around the world during the Cold War. Many older types of the Type 53 remain in use and the newest versions are actively marketed for export. Of most versions a less capable and cheaper export model exists.

Variants

SAET-50

The SAET-50 is an electrically powered acoustic homing torpedo that is launched from submarines. The SAET-50M that was introduced in 1955 has a more powerful battery and improved propulsion, resulting in a longer range, higher speed and reduced noise.

TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.45 m
Weight1.650 kg
Warhead375 kg explosive charge
GuidancePassive acoustic homing, 600 to 800 m homing range
Propulsion?
Power supplyLead acid battery
Speed23 kt
Range4 km at 23 kt
Depth?
TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.45 m
Weight1.650 kg
Warhead375 kg explosive charge
GuidancePassive acoustic homing, 600 to 800 m homing range
Propulsion?
Power supplyLead acid battery with gas screening
Speed29 kt
Range6 km at 29 kt
Depth?

Type 53-51

The Type 53-51 is a modified version of the World War 2 Type 53-39 torpedo. The fuse has been improved and a limited form of maneuverability is introduced. The ET-56 is an electrically driven version that uses many similar components, such as the warhead.

TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.60 m
Weight1.875 kg
Warhead300 kg explosive charge
GuidanceNon-homing, active magnetic fuse
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene air wet heater
Speed51 kt
Range4 km at 51 kt
8 km at 39 kt
Depth?
TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.40 m
Weight2.000 kg
Warhead300 kg explosive charge
GuidanceNon-homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyLead acid battery
Speed36 kt
Range6 km at 36 kt
Depth?

Type 53-56

The Type 53-56 is a non homing torpedo that was introduced in 1956 and is fired from surface vessels and submarines. The Type 53-56V and VA that were introduced in 1964 and 1966 respectively are export models that use air instead of oxygen. The V is a non homing torpedo while the VA is an acoustic wake following torpedo.

TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.70 m
Weight2.000 kg
Warhead400 kg explosive charge
GuidanceNon-homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene oxygen wet heater
Speed50 kt
Range8 km at 50 kt
13 km at 40 kt
Depth?
TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.70 m
Weight2.000 kg
Warhead400 kg explosive charge
GuidanceNon-homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene air wet heater
Speed50 kt
Range4 km at 50 kt
8 km at 40 kt
Depth?
TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.70 m
Weight2.000 kg
Warhead400 kg explosive charge
GuidanceAcoustic wake following homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene air wet heater
Speed29 kt
Range?
Depth?

Type 53-57

The Type 53-57 is a non homing torpedo that is based on the 53-56, but is fitted with a turbine engine. The design of the turbine engine was inspired by Nazi German research. The 53-58 is a similar torpedo that carries a nuclear warhead, making it the first nuclear tipped torpedo in Soviet service. The Type 53-61 is an acoustic wake following homing torpedo with an engine derived from the Type 53-57 torpedo. Introduced in 1961, it is nicknamed Alligator and launched from surface ships and submarines. The 53-61M, introduced in 1969, uses an improved homing system.

TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.60 m
Weight2.000 kg
Warhead305 kg explosive charge
GuidanceNon-homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene hydrogen peroxide turbine
Speed45 kt
Range18 km at 45 kt
Depth?
TypeNuclear torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.60 m
Weight?
WarheadNuclear warhead
GuidanceNon-homing
Propulsion?
Power supply?
Speed?
Range?
Depth?
Type?
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length?
Weight?
Warhead305 kg explosive charge
GuidanceAcoustic wake following homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene hydrogen peroxide turbine
Speed55 kt
Range15 km at 55 kt
22 km at 35 kt
Depth?

SET-53

The SET-53 is an active acoustic homing torpedo for use against submarines that was introduced in 1958. It is launched from surface ships and submarines. The SET-53M was introduced in 1964. It uses a passive seeker and a new battery design allowing greater range and speed. The SET-53ME is an export model of the SET-53M. The small warhead in all models limits its effectiveness.

TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.80 m
Weight1.480 kg
Warhead100 kg explosive charge, magnetic fuse
GuidanceActive acoustic homing, 1.000 m homing range
Propulsion?
Power supplyLead acid battery
Speed23 kt
Range8 km at 23 kt
Depth?
TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.80 m
Weight1.480 kg
Warhead100 kg explosive charge, magnetic fuse
GuidancePassive acoustic homing, 600 m homing range
Propulsion?
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed29 kt
Range14 km at 29 kt
Depth?

SAET-60

The SAET-60 is a passive acoustic homing torpedo that is launched by submarines. It was introduced somewhere between 1961 and 1966. The improved SAET-60M was introduced in 1969. It adds a second speed setting with a longer range and has a lighter warhead. Alternatively the SAET-60M is known as SAET-M. A nuclear version of the SAET-60 also exists, although designation is unknown.

TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.80 m
Weight1.855 kg
Warhead400 kg explosive charge
GuidancePassive acoustic homing
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery, 46 cells
Speed42 kt
Range13 km at 42 kt
DepthUp to 400 m launch depth
TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.80 m
Weight1.855 kg
Warhead300 kg explosive charge
GuidancePassive acoustic homing
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery, 46 cells
Speed42 kt
Range13 km at 42 kt
15 km at 35 kt
DepthUp to 400 m launch depth
TypeNuclear torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.70 m
Weight2.000 kg
WarheadNuclear warhead, 20 kT
GuidanceNon-homing
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery, 46 cells
Speed35 kt
Range10 km at 35 kt
20 km at 20 kt
DepthUp to 305 m launch depth

Type 53-65

The Type 53-65 is an acoustic wake following homing torpedo that is based on the earlier Type 53-61. The 53-65K uses different fuel and the 53-65M is an improved model with longer range. The 53-65 was introduced in 1965 and both variants in 1969. The 53-65KE is the export model of the 53-65K. The 53-68 is a straight running model with nuclear warhead.

TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.20 m
Weight2.100 kg
Warhead300 kg explosive charge
GuidanceAcoustic wake following homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene hydrogen peroxide turbine
Speed45 kt
Range12 km at 68 kt
18 km at 45 kt
Depth?
TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.20 m
Weight2.070 kg
Warhead300 kg explosive charge
GuidanceAcoustic wake following homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene oxygen turbine
Speed45 kt
Range19 km at 45 kt
Depth?
TypeAnti-ship torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.20 m
Weight2.100 kg
Warhead300 kg explosive charge
GuidanceAcoustic wake following homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene hydrogen peroxide turbine
Speed44 kt
Range12 km at 68 kt
22 km at 44 kt
Depth?
TypeNuclear torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.90 m
Weight?
Warhead20 kT nuclear warhead
GuidanceNon-homing
Propulsion?
Power supplyKerosene hydrogen peroxide turbine
Speed45 kt
Range14 km at 45 kt
DepthUp to 100 m at launch, up to 300 m during travel

SET-65

The SET-65 is an acoustic homing torpedo introduced in 1965 for use against submarines. It is launched from surface ships and submarines. The SET-65M uses the Sapfir guidance system and was previously named SET-65Sh. The SET-65 and SET-65M are also known under the names Yenot and Yenot-2 respectively. The SET-65E and SET-65KE are the export models.

TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.8 m
Weight1.740 kg
Warhead205 kg explosive charge, contact and magnetic fuse
GuidanceActive/passive acoustic seeker, 800 m homing range
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed40 kt
Range16 km at 40 kt
Depth?
TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.8 m
Weight1.850 kg
Warhead250 kg explosive charge, contact and magnetic fuse
GuidanceActive/passive acoustic seeker, 800 m homing range
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed40 kt
Range16 km at 40 kt
DepthUp to 460 m

TEST-68

The TEST-68 is the first Russian wire guided torpedo and is based on the SET-53M. Contrary to the designation it was not introduced in 1968, but in 1969. It is fired by submarines at other submarines. It was soon replaced by the more capable TEST-71.

TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.9 m
Weight1.500 kg
Warhead100 kg explosive charge
GuidanceWire guidance, active/passive acoustic homing, 800 m homing range
Propulsion?
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed29 kt
Range14 km at 29 kt
DepthUp to 200 m

TEST-71

The TEST-71 is a much heavier wire guided torpedo than the TEST-68. It has a better range, more explosive power and can reach targets much deeper in the water. The TEST-71M features the improved Sapfir seeker that is also used in the SET-65M. The TEST-71MK features a further improved seeker and larger warhead and is also known as the TEST-96. The UTEST-71E has a wake homing seeker for use against surface ships and has limited anti-submarine capabilities. Export versions are designated TEST-71ME and TEST-71MKE. The TEST-71ME-NK is an improved version of the UTEST-71E with full active/passive seeker capability, similar to the USET-80. The surface ship launched TEST-3 that was introduced in 1977 is a TEST-71 that lacks the wire guidance.

TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.9 m
Weight1.750 kg
Warhead205 kg explosive charge
GuidanceWire guidance, active/passive acoustic homing, 800 m homing range
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed40 kt
Range15 km at 40 kt
25 km at 35 kt
DepthUp to 400 m
TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.9 m
Weight1.750 kg
Warhead205 kg explosive charge
GuidanceWire guidance, active/passive acoustic homing, 1.000 m homing range
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed40 kt
Range15 km at 40 kt
25 km at 35 kt
DepthUp to 400 m
TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.86 m
Weight1.820 kg
Warhead205 kg explosive charge
GuidanceWire guidance, active/passive acoustic homing, 1.500 m homing range
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed24 kt travelling, 40 kt terminal
Range20 km
DepthUp to 400 m
TypeMultipurpose torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.93 m
Weight1.820 kg
Warhead205 kg explosive charge, impact, proximity and acoustic fuse
GuidanceWire guidance, active/passive seeker, acoustic wake homing, 1.500 m homing range
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed26 kt travelling, 40 kt terminal
Range20 km
DepthUp to 400 m
TypeAnti-submarine torpedo
PlatformSubmarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.9 m
Weight1.750 kg
Warhead205 kg explosive charge
GuidanceWire guidance, active/passive acoustic homing, 800 m homing range
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed40 kt
Range15 km at 40 kt
25 km at 35 kt
DepthUp to 400 m

USET-80

The USET-80 is a multipurpose electric-propelled torpedo with both acoustic wake homing and active/passive acoustic homing. It truly multipurpose as it is launched by both submarines and surface ships against submarines and surface targets.

TypeMultipurpose torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.9 m
Weight2.000 kg
Warhead200 to 300 kg explosive charge
Guidance300 kg explosive charge
PropulsionTwin propeller wakeless propulsion
Power supplySilver zinc battery
Speed48 kt
Range20 km
DepthUp to 400 m

UGST

The UGST is the most modern torpedo in the Type 53 family. It has a piston engine and uses pump-jet propulsion. As a result it has much more range and a higher speed than any other Type 53 torpedo. A shorter version compliant to NATO standard 533mm torpedo tubes has also been developed.

TypeMultipurpose torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length7.2 m
Weight2.100 kg
Warhead300 kg explosive charge
GuidanceWire guidance, active/passive seeker, acoustic wake homing, 1.2 km range against ships, 2.5 km against submarines
PropulsionWater jet propulsor coupled to piston engine
Power supplyMono propellant
Speed35 kt, 50 kt
RangeUp to 50 km
DepthUp to 400 m launch, up to 500 m during travel
TypeMultipurpose torpedo
PlatformSurface ships, submarines
Diameter533 mm
Length6.05 m
Weight1.800 kg
Warhead300 kg explosive charge
GuidanceWire guidance, active/passive seeker, acoustic wake homing, 1.2 km range against ships, 2.5 km against submarines
PropulsionWater jet propulsor coupled to piston engine
Power supplyMono propellant
Speed35 kt, 50 kt
RangeUp to 40 km
DepthUp to 400 m launch, up to 500 m during travel

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