WASS Lightweight and Heavyweight Torpedoes, and Anti-Torpedo Countermeasure Systems
Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS), named after the inventor of the ‘Torpedo’, Robert Whitehead, has been part of Finmeccanica since 1995. The company, which mostly employs high degree-qualified engineers, with offices and premises in Livorno, Genova, Napoli and La Spezia, is fully responsible for the design, development, production, integration and customer delivery of its impressive product range, which implements the best of future technologies.
Lightweight torpedo for the naval industry
The A244/S Mod 3 lightweight torpedo (commercialised by EuroTorp) represents the latest upgrade of the worldwide-proven A244/S, a LWT in service with more than 15 navies, designed to counter the threat posed by modern conventional submarines.
A new and more powerful propulsion battery, with an increased number of cells, ensures a 50% increase in the endurance of the weapon. The introduction of an electronic controller allows a variable-speed propulsion with further advantages in terms of endurance and hitting probability.
The acoustic performance of the A244/S in very shallow waters is now supported by an advanced digital signal processor module, to counter the latest and more sophisticated torpedo countermeasures. The A244/S Mod 3 torpedo can be launched from any surface platform or aircraft.
High-performance torpedo for shallow waters
The Acoustic Seeker, with preformed multiple transmission and reception beams and multi-frequency operating capability, ensures high performance in very shallow waters and very long engagement distances. The omni-directional type of warhead is designed to maximise the lethal effect of the torpedo. The guidance and control system is based on modern microprocessor technology.
The Advanced Digital Signal Processor, introduced in the latest Mod 3 upgrade, is capable of classifying and tracking several targets simultaneously, allowing a clear discrimination between the target and countermeasures. The propulsion system is based on a non-toxic and extremely safe seawater battery with a D-C contra-rotating motor, which directly drives the propeller shafts.
Dual-purpose wire-guided heavyweight torpedo
The BLACK-SHARK advanced heavyweight torpedo is a multi-purpose weapon designed to be launched from submarines or surface vessels. It is meant to counter the threat posed by any type of surface or underwater target for the next 20 years. The BLACK-SHARK is a new generation, powerful, long-range, fully stealth, wire-guided and self-homing heavyweight torpedo (21in diameter).
Advanced acoustic head for modern torpedoes
The acoustic head of BLACK-SHARK, named ASTRA (Advanced Sonar Transmitting and Receiving Architecture), is a state-of-the-art active and passive acoustic head for modern torpedoes, which represents the latest effort made by WASS. It is possible to use ASTRA as an additional, remote sensor to the submarine combat suite.
The Advanced Signal and Data Processing module provides the following features:
- Medium and high-frequency operation in passive mode
- Spatial filtering
- Multi-frequency capability
- Frequency filtering
- Constant false alarm rate processing
- DEMON analysis
- Echo elongation analysis
- Echo spatial coherence analysis
- Echo angular coherence analysis
Anti-torpedo countermeasure system for submarines
The C303/S is an anti-torpedo countermeasure system for submarines, designed to counter attacks of acoustic homing torpedoes, active / passive, lightweight and heavyweight, wire and non wire-guided, through the use of expendable low-cost, lightweight, high-performance stationary jammers and mobile target emulators. The submarine deploys such devices during the course of pre-determined evasive counter-manoeuvres, to maximise the submarine survivability against modern torpedo attacks.
The C303/S consists of:
- The effectors: mobile target emulators and stationary jammers
- Launching system: mounted externally on the pressure hull of the submarine and below the submarine super-structure
- Control computer: fitted with a man machine interface and connected with the torpedo detection system or with the combat management system, which controls the launch of the countermeasures
Anti-torpedo countermeasure system for surface ships
The C310 is an anti-torpedo countermeasure system for surface ships, designed to cope with current and future generations of active and/or passive torpedoes, wire or non wire-guided, launched alone or in salvo mode. The expendable effectors are based on low-cost, lightweight, high-performance devices. Surface vessels deploy such devices during the course of predetermined evasive counter-manoeuvres, to maximise the ship survivability against modern torpedo attacks.
The C310 system includes two types of effectors – stationary jammers and mobile target emulators – and a launching system. This latter is composed of a control computer, junction boxes and two trainable launchers, carrying a number of compressed air barrels. The number of barrels per launcher is 12 or 8, according to the customer’s operational requirement and the ship type. Each barrel is loaded with the relevant effector (jammers or l/ITE) and consists of a launch tube, an air bottle and an electro-valve. The launcher is capable of launching the effectors at several hundreds metres from the ship.
The C310 effectors are basically the same as the ones of the C303/S system for submarine protection. Upon requirement, the effectors can be delivered as positive buoyant devices and be at the end of the run, and also have the possibility to be reused several times for training purposes.
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