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An anti-submarine missile is a standoff weapon including a rocket designed to rapidly deliver an explosive warhead or homing torpedo from the launch platform to the vicinity of a submarine.


Ikara, a British-Australian anti-submarine missile.



Depth charges were the earliest weapons designed for use by ships against submerged submarines. These explosives were initially dropped as the ship moved over the presumed location of a submarine; but shipboard SONAR was unable to maintain contact with the submarine at close range. Various mortar-type projectors (including hedgehog and squid) were devised during World War II to allow a ship to maintain SONAR contact while lobbing explosive charges toward the submarine.[1] During the cold war, rockets were developed to provide greater range with reduced recoil. Some rockets carry homing torpedoes to provide terminal guidance for the warhead.[2]



  1. Hughes, Terry, and Costello, John The Battle of the Atlantic (1977) Dial Press ISBN 0-8037-6454-2 pp.307-308
  2. Albrecht, Gerhard Weyer's Warships of the World (1969) United States Naval Institute p.385

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