FIRE CONTROL PAGES
NAVAL ORDNANCE AND GUNNERY
VOLUME 2, FIRE CONTROL
TORPEDO FIRE CONTROL
Chapter 27 Torpedo fire control
B. Destroyer torpedo fire control problem
C. Destroyer torpedo fire control system
D. CIC's function in the radar-aim torpedo attack
| TORPEDO FIRE CONTROL
The torpedo is recognized as the most effective underwater weapon of naval warfare. It may be fired from submarines, aircraft, or surface vessels. The enormous damage inflicted by torpedoes on our own and enemy forces in the last war is well known. Not so apparent, but still of considerable importance in its effect on tactics, is the constant threat of torpedo attack, present whenever enemy light forces, aircraft, or submarines are known or suspected to be in the vicinity.
The torpedo fire control problem is quite different for destroyers, submarines, and aircraft. In this chapter we will consider only the control of torpedoes fired from a destroyer. The prospective naval aviator or submariner will receive extensive special training in the problem of torpedo fire control from his type of craft.
A primary consideration in a torpedo attack is doctrine, for, if the attack is to be coordinated, all ships participating must act in accordance with the same principles. The successful execution of the mission may be dependent upon how thoroughly the various ships adhere to doctrine. Since torpedo attacks may be made under all conditions of visibility, provisions must be made for establishing the LOS both optically and by radar. Commanding officers, CIC evaluators, torpedo fire control officers, and all torpedo personnel must be thoroughly cognizant of such phases of the doctrine as may apply to them and their stations.
A destroyer torpedo attack will usually be detected by the target ship in the early stages; therefore the torpedoes must be fired at comparatively long ranges. Unfortunately, this gives the target time to maneuver so as to avoid being hit. For this reason, destroyers usually fire several torpedoes in rapid succession in a spread pattern (see art. 27B3). This procedure greatly increases the possibility of obtaining a hit. A division of destroyers in battle usually fires its torpedoes as a unit, with each ship firing a spread. This combination of spreads produces a pattern which is almost certain to give some hits. With spread firing it is possible to neglect certain minor errors which would have to be considered if a single torpedo were fired to hit a given point of aim.