The fastest torpedo in the world: name, speed and devastating effects


The strike complex, which has a high-speed torpedo rocket VA-111 "Shkval", was developed in the Soviet Union in the 60s of the last century. Its purpose is to defeat targets both above and below the water. The fastest torpedo in the world is placed on different carriers: stationary complexes, surface and submarine ships.

The history of the creation of super-speed torpedoes

The motive for creating a super-fast torpedo was the fact that the Soviet fleet was unable to compete in quantitative terms with the US Navy. Therefore, it was decided to form a weapons system that meets the following requirements:

  • compact;
  • having the ability to install on most surface and underwater vessels;
  • able to hit enemy ships and boats at a great distance;
  • inexpensive production.


In the sixties of the 20th century, work began on creating the fastest torpedo in the world, so that it could destroy enemy targets at a great distance and was inaccessible to the enemy. G.V. Logvinovich was appointed the chief designer of the project. The difficulty consisted in the creation of a completely new design, capable of reaching speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour under the water column. In 1965, the first running test was carried out. When designing, two serious problems arose:

  • achieving very high speed due to hypersound;
  • universal way of placing on submarines and ships.

The solution of these tasks was delayed by more than 10 years and only in 1977 the rocket, which received the VA-111 "Squall" index, was put into service.

Interesting Facts

In the late seventies of the last century, Pentagon scientists proved by calculation that under technical conditions it was impossible to develop significant speeds under water.


Therefore, the military department in the United States was skeptical of information about the ongoing development of the fastest torpedoes in the world in the Soviet Union. These messages were considered planned misinformation. And scientists of the USSR quietly ended up testing high-speed self-propelled underwater mines. Torpedo "Flurry" by all military experts is recognized as a weapon that has no analogues in the world. It has been in service with the Navy for many years.

Torpedo Tactics

The Squall complex is equipped with non-standard tactics for torpedoes. The carrier on which it is located, having detected the enemy ship, processes all the characteristics: direction and speed of movement, distance. All information is entered in the autopilot self-propelled mines. After start-up, it begins to move strictly along the previously calculated trajectory. The torpedo has no homing system and no adjustments to a given course.


This fact is an advantage on the one hand, and a disadvantage on the other. No interference encountered on the way, will not prevent the "Flurry" from deviating from the set course. He is rapidly approaching the target at a tremendous speed, and the enemy does not have the slightest chance of making a maneuver. But if suddenly the enemy ship suddenly changes its direction of travel, the target will not be hit.

Description of the device and engine

When creating a high-speed rocket, fundamental research by Russian scientists in the field of cavitation was used. Jet engine supersonic torpedo "Squall" consists of:

  • Starting accelerator used to accelerate the torpedoes. It runs for four seconds, using liquid fuel, and then undocking occurs.
  • Marching engine delivering a mine to the target. Hydroreactive metals such as aluminum, lithium, magnesium, which are oxidized by seawater, are used as fuel.


When the torpedo reaches a speed of 80 km / h, an air cavitation bubble is formed to reduce the hydrodynamic resistance. This is due to a special cavitator, located in the nose and generating water vapor. Behind it is a series of holes through which portions of gas pass from the gas generator, which allows the bubble to completely cover the entire body of the torpedo.

The control and guidance system of the ship, when an enemy object is detected, processes the speed, distance, direction of motion, after which the data is sent to an independent surveillance system. Automatic torpedo targeting to the target is absent, so nothing prevents it from reaching the target. She strictly performs the program that the autopilot asked her.


Tests and refinement of the torpedo already set up were continued after the Soviet Union collapsed. The speed of the fastest torpedo in the world is about 300 km / h. It is achieved by using a jet engine. According to the developers, this is not the limit. The high water resistance, which is hundreds of times greater than the air resistance, was reduced using supercavitation. This is a special mode of movement of the hull with a length of 8 m in water space, in which a cavity with water vapor forms around it.


Such a state is created with the help of a special head cavitator. As a result, the speed increases significantly and the range of motion increases. The fastest torpedo in the world leaves no time for maneuver enemy ships, although the range is only 11 kilometers. The warhead consists of 210 kg of conventional explosives or 150 kilotons of nuclear. The speed of a torpedo weighing 2.7 tons is 200 knots or 360 km / h. The immersion depth is 6 m, and the start is up to 30 m.

Torpedo Modifications

Work on improvement continued after its commissioning, and even in the difficult 90s of the last century. Released several options for torpedoes:

  • Shkval-E is an export version of a self-propelled underwater mine, manufactured in 1992. It is intended for sale to other states and affects only surface targets. This option provides the usual combat charge and a smaller range of destruction. Work continues on improving the version for a specific customer.
  • "Shkval-M" - has improved characteristics: the warhead increased to 350 kg, range - up to 13 km.


Modification of this torpedo is carried out constantly, especially to increase the range of destruction.

Foreign analogues "Squall"

For a very long time there was no underwater mine, even if it was approaching the speed of the fastest torpedo in the world at a speed of 300 km / h. And only in 2005 in Germany a similar torpedo called the “Barracuda” was produced, according to the developers, which has a slightly higher speed than the “Squall” due to the stronger effect of cavitation. About the remaining characteristics of the invention, all data are missing. In 2014, there were reports that a similar torpedo was designed in Iran, reaching a speed of 320 km / h. Many countries are trying to develop such an analogue of self-propelled underwater mines, but so far there are no such aerial bombs in service, comparable to the fastest torpedo in the world "Squall".

Advantages and disadvantages

Rocket-torpedo "Squall" is a unique technical invention, worked on by experts from different fields of knowledge. For this, it was necessary to create new quality materials, design a fundamentally new engine, and adapt the cavitation phenomenon to jet propulsion. But despite this, like any other type of weapon, the Squall torpedo has advantages and disadvantages. The positive sides of the fastest torpedo include:

  • The tremendous speed of movement - does not give the enemy a defense.
  • A large charge of the warhead has serious devastating consequences for large ships and is capable of destroying the aircraft carrier group with one salvo.
  • Universal platform - allows the installation of aerial bombs on submarines and surface ships.

The disadvantages include the following:

  • Noise and strong vibration are caused by the enormous speed of the torpedo, which gives the enemy a chance to determine the location of the carrier.
  • A short range of action - the maximum distance to hit the target is 13 km.
  • There is no way to manage because of the cavitation bubble.
  • Insufficient depth of immersion - no more than 30 m, which is ineffective in the destruction of submarines.
  • High price.


Currently, the development of torpedoes with the possibility of remote control and a greater range of fire.


The charge with which the squall torpedo is equipped is enough to destroy any enemy ship. And the speed of the fastest torpedo "Squall" at 300 km / h does not allow the enemy to counter this type of weaponry. After the adoption of rocket-torpedoes, the combat potential of the navy of our country significantly increased.

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