Showing posts from December, 2019

FXR to Nixie - US Torpedo Decoys (1943-2019)

Underseas warfare and electronic countermeasures are two of the most classified areas of naval history. Therefore, the following post, which combines both subjects, is far from complete. However, given how little information I have been able to find on the topic (and of that little how much was outright contradictory), I felt it was worth attempting to provide as much of an overview as I could even if I am unable to provide as much detail as I would like. If any reader has any corrections to what follows, please post them. The towed acoustic decoy was first introduced by the Allies in late 1943 to provide ships with a defense against the new German homing torpedoes. These torpedoes used simple hydrophones to home on the target's acoustic signature and represented a massive increase in effectiveness over the unguided torpedoes that had been the rule since the 1890's. Homing torpedoes were particularly dangerous to the destroyers and other escorts that were often nimble enoug