Russian airborne ASM APR-3M torpedo goes into service

Although many countries are today capable of building anti-submarine warfare surface vessels, and even submarines, very few have mastered the design of anti-submarine guided torpedoes. Russia is one of these rare chosen ones, notably with the APR-3 system, which can be implemented by T-142 and Be-50 maritime patrol aircraft, as well as by the Ka-27 M helicopters which equip destroyers and frigates. Russian naval forces.

But the APR-3 is not just a Russian ASW torpedo, it is a system with its own employment concept. With its 540 kg, the APR-3 is much heavier than its counterparts such as the Franco-Italian Mu-90, or the American Mk54. In addition, the torpedo has a specific operation, beginning a descent in a circle as soon as it enters the water, to detect its target, without activating its rocket engine. Once the target is acquired, the engine starts and propels the torpedo very quickly at more than 45 knots towards its target, leaving little time for the submarine to launch countermeasures or attempt evasive maneuvers. However, the APR-3 does not lack weaknesses, the main one being its very low autonomy, less than 1 nautical, where the Mu90 exceeds 12 nautical, forcing launcher aircraft to be very precise in dropping their ammunition. .

In any case, the new version of this torpedo has just completed its testing phase, and the APR-3M is therefore beginning to enter service with Russian units. This new version, called “Vulture”, is slightly lighter than the APR-3E “Aigle”, with 470 kg, a new, more efficient seeker more resistant to countermeasures, and a slightly extended range of 2,5 km. , or 1,5 nautical.

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