Naval Weapons

Israel takes new torpedo into service

21 June 2018
A still from a video released by the IDF shows a Kaved torpedo being loaded into a submarine at the Haifa naval base. Source: Israel Defense Forces

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on 19 June that is has acquired a new type of torpedo that it calls the Kaved (heavy) for its submarines.

“The torpedo systems possess advanced capabilities and characteristics, including increased precision and range,” the IDF said in a statement. “The operationalisation of these systems signifies a great advance in the Israeli Navy’s operational capabilities and ability to defend the State of Israel.”

The announcement came after months of testing, including live-fire trials in which targets were struck. A senior naval source said the final test was conducted overnight on 18-19 June by Flotilla 7, the navy’s submarine unit. “This is an event that happens once in decades,” the source said. “This will safeguard our operational advantage over a [long] period of time.”

He said the Kaved is made by a non-Israeli defence company that he did not name, but that future upgrades and all maintenance would be conducted in-house by the navy. It will equip Israel’s three older Dolphin submarines as well as the new three new-generation boats, the last of which is expected to be delivered by the German company TKMS in 2019.

The source described the Kaved as a very high-speed weapon that could hit both surface and sub-surface targets, including those at depths of “hundreds of metres”. Unlike the navy’s previous type, the new torpedo has a digital sonar guidance system that “lets us conduct upgrades in the future without changing hardware” and makes the weapon difficult for a target to evade by manoeuvring, the source said.

While he did not give specific ranges, the source said the torpedo enables the engagement of targets that are beyond the range that the attacking submarine can be detected.

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