The Navy's new rocket-launched torpedo is hurled skyward from a destroyer, propelled byns rocket motor to the target area, dropped accurately to the surface, retarded by parachute, and then seeks out the enemy beneath the sea as a fast homing torpedo.
Destroyer at sea.
RAT is fired
Hurling through space.
Animation showing RAT firing
RAT launching mount
RAT firing, firing, firing, firing,
RAT firing and in flight
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Background: The Navy's new rocket-launched torpedo is hurled skyward from a destroyer, propelled byns rocket motor to the target area, dropped accurately to the surface, retarded by parachute, and then seeks out the enemy beneath the sea as a fast homing torpedo.
The RAT (rocket-launched anti-submarine torpedo) can destroy an enemy submarine after the destroyer's search equipment discovers its presence and before the submarine has a chance to escape or attack with its torpedoes. The weapon is considered the greatest advancement in anti-submarine warfare since World War II. RAT enables the destroyer to have a kill capability without approaching within the retaliatory range of the enemy submarine.
The missile is 16 feet long, weighs 450 pounds and can easily be carted shipped and transferred at sea when a destroyer needs to replenish her supply. Its maintenance on board ship is a minimum factor and no additional personnel over the present ship's company are required to handle and fire it. It is expected to become operational in the Fleet the latter part of this year.
RAT was developed for the Bureau of Ordnance by the Naval Ordnance Test Station, Pasadena and China Lake, California. Librascope, Inc., Glendale, California, developed the fire control and provided systems management. The torpedo was developed by Clevite Research Corp., Cleveland, Ohio, and the launcher by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington.