(mine-laying and torpedo aviation), a branch of naval aviation. The mission of torpedo aviation is to carry out torpedo attacks on warships at sea and at enemy bases and on transports in sea-lanes, to lay minefields, to support amphibious landings, and to assist ground forces in maritime operations. Torpedo planes make precision torpedo attacks and drop aerial bombs and mines. The use of torpedoes and mines makes it possible to inflict damage on the less protected, submerged part of a ship.
Torpedo planes were first used by the navies of various countries in the early 1930’s. In the USSR, the first torpedo-aviation detachment, which consisted of TB-1 planes, was formed in 1931 within the Black Sea Fleet. Torpedo aviation was established as a branch of Soviet naval aviation in 1939 and 1940.
Torpedo aviation was widely used in World War II and the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. During the war, Soviet torpedo planes dropped 1,371 torpedoes and laid 2,425 mines. Between the end of the war and the mid-1950’s, torpedo aviation became a prime component of the striking power of naval aviation.
Modern aerial torpedoes may be dropped from airplanes or helicopters. In airplanes the torpedoes are carried in a bomb bay or suspended under the wings; they may also be dropped by parachute from high altitudes.
REFERENCESAviatsüa i kosmonavtika SSSR. Moscow, 1968.
Andreev, V. I. Bor’ba na okeanskikh kommunikatsiiakh. Moscow, 1961.
A. P. ANOKHIN