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British 18 inch torpedo

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Subject: HMAS Parramatta (D55), HMS Antelope (1893), British L-class submarine, HM Coastal Motor Boat 4, List of torpedoes by name, River-class torpedo-boat destroyer, HMS L1, HMS C34, British F-class submarine, HMS L2
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British 18 inch torpedo

There have been a number of 18 inch torpedoes in service with the United Kingdom. These have been used on ships of the Royal Navy and aircraft of both the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force. Note that the British "18 inch" torpedoes were 17.72 inches (45.0 cm) in diameter, beginning with the "Fiume" Whitehead torpedo of 1890.

45 cm "Fiume" (Whitehead) torpedo

Main article: Whitehead torpedo

First introduced into British service in 1894.[1]

  • Year : about 1888
  • Weight : 845 lb (383 kg)
  • Length : 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
  • Warhead : 118 lb (54 kg) wet gun-cotton
  • Performance : 26.5 knots (49.1 km/h; 30.5 mph) for 800 yd (730 m)
  • Propulsion : Compressed air

18 inch Mark V

Used on the River class and 1905 Tribal class destroyers.

  • Year : about 1899[1]
  • Weight : 1,353 lb (614 kg)
  • Warhead : 296 lb (134 kg) including pistol
  • Propulsion : Compressed air

18 inch Mark VI

Used on Destroyers of the early 1900s.

  • Year : about 1904[1]
  • Performance : 28.5 knots (52.8 km/h; 32.8 mph) for 4,000 yd (3,700 m) or 41 knots (76 km/h; 47 mph) for 1,000 yd (910 m)
  • Propulsion : Compressed air

18 inch Mark VII and VII*

Introduced on the 1908 members of the 1905 Tribal class destroyers. Used by torpedo boats built before the First World War and destroyers. Used by RAF flying boats in the 1920s.

  • Year : 1907[1]
  • Warhead : 320 lb (150 kg) TNT
  • Performance :
    • Mark VII :
      30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) for 6,000–7,000 yd (5,500–6,400 m)
      41 knots (76 km/h; 47 mph) for 3,000 yd (2,700 m)
    • Mark VII* :
      29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph) for 7,000 yd (6,400 m)
      35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph) for 5,000 yd (4,600 m)
  • Propulsion : Wet-heater

18 inch Mark VIII

  • Year: 1913
  • Role: Submarines and aircraft (Note: During World War II and after the Mk.VIII was a 21 inch torpedo)
  • Warhead: 320 lb (150 kg) TNT
  • Propulsion: Wet heater
  • Performance: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph) for 2,500 yd (2,300 m)

18 inch Mark XI

  • Year: 1934
  • Aircraft carried
  • Dimensions: 17.72 in (450 mm) dia.
  • Warhead: 465 lb (211 kg) TNT
  • Propulsion: Burner cycle
  • Performance: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph) for 2,500 yd (2,300 m)

18 inch Mark XII

18 inch Mark XII
Type Torpedo
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 1937-1945
Production history
Designed 1935
Specifications
Weight 1,548 lb (702 kg)
Length 16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)
Diameter 17.72 in (450 mm)

Warhead TNT
Warhead weight 388 lb (176 kg)

Engine Burner cycle
140 hp (at 40 knots)
Speed 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph) for 1,500 yd (1.4 km ) or
37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph) for 3,500 yd (3,200 m)

Aircraft launched, used by Fleet Air Arm and RAF Coastal Command.

18 inch Mark XIV

18 inch Mark XIV
Type Torpedo
Place of origin United Kingdom
Production history
Designed around 1938
Specifications
Weight 1,630 lb (740 kg)
Diameter 17.72 in (450 mm)

Warhead TNT
Warhead weight 375 lb (170 kg)

Engine Whitehead wet heater (methyl fuel)
Speed 45 knots (83 km/h; 52 mph) for 1,650 yd (1,510 m) or 41 knots (76 km/h; 47 mph) for 2,950 yd (2,700 m)

The Mark XIV was an aircraft-launched torpedo. Stocks were lost with the fall of Singapore.

18 inch Mark XV

  • Year: 1942
  • Operators: Fleet Air Arm, RAF Coastal Command, Royal Navy
  • Role: Aircraft and Motor Torpedo Boats, 1943 onwards
  • Dimensions: 17.72 in (450 mm) × 17 ft 3 in (5.26 m)
  • Warhead: 545 lb (247 kg) Torpex
  • Propulsion: Burner cycle
  • Performance: 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph) for 2,500 yd (2,300 m) or 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph) for 3,500 yd (3,200 m)

18 inch Mark XVI

Electric torpedo project not completed.

18 inch Mark XVII

  • United Kingdom, 1944
  • Aircraft launched
  • Operated by FAA, RAF Coastal Command, Blackburn Firebrand
  • Dimensions: 17.72 in (450 mm) × 17 ft 3 in (5.26 m)
  • Warhead: 600 lb (270 kg) Torpex
  • Propulsion: Burner cycle
  • Performance: 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph) for 2,500 yd (2,300 m)

18 inch Mark 30

Main article: 18" Mark 30 torpedo

An air-dropped passive acoustic homing torpedo known as "Dealer" and "Dealer B". "Dealer" did not see service use, but its successor, "Dealer B" (the Mark 30 Mod 0), was issued from June 1954. Considered very successful with approximately 1,200 being built, it served in both the Royal Navy and RAF until 1970. The Mark 30 Mod 1 had several improvements, but this program was cancelled in 1955 in favour of purchasing Mark 43 Mod 3 torpedoes from the USA.[2]

  • Length: 8 ft (2.4 m)[3]
  • Weight: 646 lb (293 kg)
  • Performance: 12.5 knots (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph) for 3,000 yd (2,700 m) or 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) for 830 yd (760 m)

See also

Notes

References

  • Tony DiGiulian, Pre Second World War torpedoes
  • Tony DiGiulian, Torpedoes of the Second World War

External links

  • Geoff Kirby, A History of the Torpedo in the Early Days

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