RBU-6000: Russian Navy’s “Submarine-Killer”
At the moment, RBU-6000 is an operational, time-tested installation of an anti-submarine torpedo defense system.
At 21:00 on September 5, 1914, the German submarine U-21 sank the cruiser Pathfinder and 259 sailors of the Royal Navy with just one torpedo. After that event, submarines have really become a great threat to all the most powerful fleets in the world.
Since then, the research and development of anti-submarine weapons was an urgent requirement for the navies. Anti-submarine weapons really flourished during the second world war and the cold war. When it comes to the development of modern anti-submarine weapons, it is impossible not to mention the Soviet RBU systems, one of which is still very popular today, the RBU-6000.
The RBU-6000 entered service with the Soviet Navy Fleet in 1961. At the moment, RBU-6000 is an operational, time-tested installation of an anti-submarine torpedo defense system. One of the oldest in its class, and featured on most of the later Russian surface warships and its counterparts.
RBU-6000 was designed as a 213 mm caliber anti-submarine rocket launcher. It is similar in principle to the Royal Navy Hedgehog system used during the Second World War. It consists of a horseshoe-shaped arrangement of twelve launch barrels, that are remotely directed by the Burya fire control system.
RBU-6000 fires RGB-60 unguided depth charges. The rockets are normally fired in salvos of 1, 2, 4, 8 or 12 rounds. Reloading is automatic, with individual rounds being fed into the launcher by the 60UP loading system from a below deck magazine. Typical magazine capacity is either 72 or 96 rounds per launcher. It can also be used for shore bombardment.
RGB-60 is an unguided rocket using a solid propellant engine. The Rocket carries a 23 kg warhead, has a maximum range of up to 5,500m, destroys targets at a depth of 10-500m.
The RPK-8 system is an upgrade of the RBU-6000 system, firing the 90R rocket, which is actively guided in the water. This allows it to home in on targets at depths of up to 1,000 metres. The warhead is a 19.5 kg, which enables it to punch through the hulls of submarines. RPK-8 entered service in 1991 and mounted on Project 1154 and 11356 frigates. Serial production of the upgraded 90R1 rocket was launched in 2017.
The RBU-6000 system is considered the last shield of a warship against enemy submarines. The strike mission is carried out by long-range anti-submarine weapons such as the 91R1 missile of the Kalibr complex, with a range of up to 50 km, more than 10 times that of the RPK-8.