Depth Charge

A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use conventional explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by surface ships, patrol aircraft, or helicopters. The depth charge has now largely been replaced by anti-submarine homing torpedoes.

A depth charge fitted with a nuclear warhead is known as a nuclear depth bomb. These were designed to be dropped from a patrol plane or deployed by anti-submarine missile from a surface ship, or another submarine, located a safe distance away. All nuclear anti-submarine weapons were withdrawn from service by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China in or around 1990. They were replaced by conventional weapons that provided ever-increasing accuracy and range as ASW technology improved.

Read more about Depth Charge:  History, Delivery Mechanisms, Effectiveness, Later Developments, Underwater Explosions

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