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Symons, Frank Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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An autonomous undersea vehicle that can be launched from submarines, surface ships, or aircraft to attack enemy submarines and surface ships. An acoustic torpedo is a sophisticated weapon. Its main components are a guidance and control system, a power plant to provide propulsive and electrical energy, a propulsor to control speed and direction, and a warhead. The launching platform performs the function of determining the approximate location of the target and launching the torpedo in the proper direction. The torpedo typically utilizes an acoustic sensor in its nose and is controlled by an on-board computer. During its operation, the torpedo searches the volume of the ocean determined by the launch platform. It progresses through the following phases: detection (an object is present), classification (the object is a target of interest), homing (steer at the object), and detonation of the warhead. See also: Guidance systems; Homing
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