‘Combat Turtles’: Russia Developing AI-Endowed ‘Noiseless’ Torpedoes


The Russian defense industry has embraced a new trend in manufacturing torpedoes – the development of a mini-torpedo with artificial intelligence.

A mini-torpedo is expected to have a weight of up to 40 kilograms and its main combat advantages is that such weapons are silent running and wakeless, Shamil Aliyev, one of Russia’s leading specialist in the field, said in an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency.

“The trend that is now emerging is switching from heavy to light torpedoes. In terms of weight, this means moving from two ton weapons to 35-40 kg ones. That’s fantastic and it is an essentially different conception,” Aliyev pointed out.

Commenting on the core principle of this new approach, the engineer explained: “Size and mass are important. But the most important thing is that such a torpedo is noiseless and wakeless.”

One of the main goals in the development of mini-torpedoes is to equip them with artificial intelligence (AI), so that a torpedo is capable of imitating the behavior of fish and sea animals.

Aliyev said that it is important to develop a torpedo that would be detected and recognized not as a torpedo, “but as a big fish,” Aliyev said.

READ MORE: ‘Who Shoots First Wins’: Russian Submarines Receive Advanced ‘Duel’ Torpedoes

“When there is only one large enemy target, neutralizing it is difficult but possible. But if there are thousands of ‘combat turtles’ and you don’t know which are real and which are just an imitation, it is a much more difficult task,” he said.

According to the specialist, the creation of a turtle-type torpedo in Russia is currently at the research and development (R&D) stage.

A Turtle-type torpedo moves at very low speeds (2-3 miles per hour), but generates almost no noise and wake.


  1. As part of the exercises in the Northern Fleet, the heavy nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great used the RPK-6 Vodopad missile anti-submarine complex. These unique rocket-torpedoes are capable of hitting enemy submarines at ranges up to 50 km. At launch, the missile immediately dives into the water and retreats to a safe distance from the ship, and after a while it flies into the air and delivers the torpedo to the target area, after which the combat head is again in the water.
    More interesting. Why such a way 🙂
    0:50 min

  2. Those certainly aren’t minis in the photo. Torps without wake means torps without cavitation, which means a very slow fish. Disguising your “fish” as a fish, definitely means slow. Unless these are a complement to the ultra fast hypersonic fish, this could be yet another red herring (pun intended).

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