Description: The Siluro Radiocomandato (radio-controlled torpedo) was an Italian World War II radio-guided torpedo and One of the few guided torpedo of the second world war. The project for this advanced weapon actually started in 1930, long before the Second World War. The head behind the project was the Italian engineer Piero Crocchi, who cooperated with Lieutenant Colonel Livio Rinaldi and Lieutenant Colonel Prospero Freri (the same man who, in the future, will develop another Italian secret weapon, the torpedine oscillant Elia Freri). The first trials started in 1932. The team of engineers chose as a basis the Whitead A/170 torpedo,a pretty big aerial torpedo with a total of 170 kg of explosive. At the start, the radio receiver was collocated inside the torpedo, but it was later placed on a buoy attached to the torpedo with a metal cable. In this way, the buoy could receive the a better radio signal and transmit them via the cable to the torpedo. Unfortunately, like every other Italian advanced project, it generated low interest in the Italian high command since they preferred to use only things that they knew about. The torpedo was able to turn left and right, and during all the years of testing, the torpedo turned extremely well, allowing it to always follow the targets. When the trials started in 1932, the torpedo was intended to be used and dropped as a normal torpedo from a very low height, but it was later equipped with a parachute that allowed the torpedo to be dropped from a high altitude of 1000 meters, similar to modern torpedos. The first test with the new parchute was carried out on the P108. This advantage allowed the aircraft to drop the torpedo from a more safe height. The speed of the torpedo was pretty high compared to its counterparts, since a normal torpedo was able to travel at around 80 km/h while this one was able to reach 120 km/h (the speed was calculated according to the available data, where it was said that the torpedo was able to reach 1000 meters in 30 seconds). It also had a very good range of 5 km, which allowed the aircraft to engage an enemy vessel from a safer distance. But it would have been difficult for the operator to’ detect the torpedo after the launch, so the solution was to’ add a compartment inside the torpedo that contained a fluorescent liquid that would have been released into the water after the launch. For Night engagements, the torpedo was fitted with a light. It was presented to the generals of the Regia Aereonautica in 1942 at Pola. In a demonstration, three SM79 launched three torpedoes simultaneously. The result was amazing. Whatever maneuver the ship made to avoid being hit, the torpedoes were able to steer and go for the ship. The Higth Command was enthusiastic about the demonstration and immediately placed an order on the weapon. In November of the same year, three SM79s were transferred to Decimomannu Air Base with the Siluro Radiocommandato to be used against the British fleet, but unfortunately, there were no occasion to use them. Every development and use of this weapon were stopped by the 1943 armistice.
Why it should be in the game: Since there are some guided anty ship weapons alredy in game like the Ki148 and the Fritz-x in the ww2 naval battles, this torpedo will give to the Italian bombers a very good new vector against warships.
Aircraft in game that could carry it
All SM79 (except the B) and all the P108 in the Italian TT.
SM79 serie 1
SM79 serie 8
P108 Serie I
P108 Serie II
Prototipi e Progetti della Regia Aereonatuca (author Daniele Lembo; page 68-69)
Stato Maggiore - G. Pesce - Vigna di Valle - Cantiere Sperimentale - 1979
Siluri e aerosiluri italiani
The Buoy of the Siluro Radiocomandato