A Soviet/Russian Type 53-65K torpedo on public display in Russia in 2015.
Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin - © CC BY-SA 4.0
The Type 53-65 is a Cold War era heavyweight torpedo of Soviet origin. It was developed as a highly capable anti-surface vessel torpedo to be launched from both submarines and surface vessels. This torpedo replaced the earlier Type 53-56 and various other types as the main Soviet anti-shipping torpedo.
The Type 53-65 torpedo has a conventional layout. The warhead and guidance section are located at the front. The fuel and turbine engine are located at the rear. The torpedo is propelled by two contra-rotating propellers and steered by four control surfaces at the rear. The original and updated model use a powerful and difficult to handle kerosene-hydrogen peroxide fuel. The Type 53-65K variant uses a slightly less performant, but much safer, kerosene-oxygen fuel.
The Type 53-65 is an acoustic wake homing torpedo. The acoustic sensor searches for a vessel's wake on the pre-programmed course and locates the target vessel using a zig-zag pattern towards the origin of the wake. The Type 53-65 is a fire and forget weapon, once the target parameters are set and the torpedo launched it operates fully independent. The downside is that it lacks any mid course updates and it cannot distinguish friend from foe. The upside is that this allows for the launch vessel to engage in aggressive maneuvers after launch, which cannot be done with wire guided torpedoes.
The Type 53-65 has a 307 kg high explosive warhead which should be adequate to sink or severely damage major surface vessels. The original Type 53-65 has an 18 km range at 45 knots. For the Type 53-65M this is increased to 22 km. These two versions also have a high speed setting of about 70 knots with a much reduced range. The most common version is the Type 53-65K which has a 19 km range at 45 knots.
The Type 53-65 can be launched from both submarines and surface vessels. The rudimentary target input requirements makes the Type 53-65 compatible with a wide range of launch platforms. In Soviet service both attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines were equipped with this torpedo. Many late model motor torpedo boats and major surface vessels (frigates, destroyers, cruisers) were equipped as well.
The Type 53-65 was adopted in very large numbers by the Soviet navy, which used both the high performance kerosene-hydrogen peroxide models and the kerosene-oxygen variant. The Type 53-65K was also exported to many Soviet allies and is one of the most common post-WW2 types of heavyweight torpedo. The Type 53-65 is also one of the very few types of torpedo introduced before 1970 to be in active service with many nations today.
Rear view of a Type 53-65 torpedo on public display.
Source: Vladimir Bruman - © CC BY-SA 3.0
Copyright: CC BY-SA 3.0
Source: Vladimir Bruman
Copyright: CC BY-SA 3.0
Soviet diesel-electric attack submarine with 4x 533mm torpedo tube.
Soviet/Russian diesel-electric attack submarine with 4x 533mm torpedo tube.
Soviet motor torpedo boat with four single OTA-53-206M torpedo tubes. Can launch Type 53-65K against surface targets.
Indian class of destroyer with 1x5 PTA-53-61 torpedo tube for SET-65E and 53-65KE torpedoes.
Soviet anti-submarine warfare destroyer. Fitted with two quad PTA-53-1155 torpedo tubes. Used with SET-65 and 53-65K torpedoes.
Soviet anti-submarine warfare destroyer. Fitted with two quad PTA-53-1155 torpedo tubes. Used with URPK-6 Vodopad, SET-65 and 53-65K torpedoes.
Indian class of destroyer with 1x5 PTA-53 torpedo tube for 533mm SET-65E and Type 53-65KE torpedoes.
Soviet class of cruisers with 2x5 PTA-53-1134 torpedo tubes used with Type 53-65, Type 53-65K and SET-65 torpedoes.
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