Can an ASROC be remote-detonated after launch?

I was just watching the early episodes of Zipang, a 2004 animated naval sf series about a Japanese destroyer, the Mirai, which goes through a weird electrical storm and ends up back in 1942, near where the Battle of Midway is about to be fought. At one point the Mirai launches an anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) but then the crew decides to destroy it before it hits its target.

Did such missiles have that capability in 2004? Do they have it now?

Range safety devices do exist, which permit the destruction of rockets which veer off course, usually space launches or test flights (the Challenger Solid Rickets were destroyed this way).

I doubt a deployed rocket would carry it, for the simple reason that the enemy might discover a way to set it off before it reaches.

Not seeing any evidence by google, but that doesn’t prove much.

I’m skeptical about a wireless remote destruct in a weapon system, however. It would be a supreme tactical intelligence coup to force your enemy’s weapons to self-destruct as soon as they were launched. Range safety is less of a consideration when the actual business of the launch is to inflict damage somewhere downrange.

I was prepared to doubt that wired devices (like a wire-guided torpedo) would have that (Hunt for Red October movie notwithstanding), but at least there’s a technological basis for assuming they’re secure from enemy interference. And a Stranger on a Train post from 10 years ago makes it plain that he believes they do. (No cite given at that time, but Stranger’s uncited statements are generally better than most citations anyway.)

I’m not sure if you’re asking about any type of an anti-submarine weapon that is launched via a rocket, or if you’re asking about a specific weapon which was called “ASROC.”

The RUR-5 ASROC family of weapons developed by the United States and used by many NATO countries had both a torpedo conventional variant and a nuclear depth bomb variant. Neither of these was wire guided, and neither could be remote detonated after launch.

I don’t see how a wire-guided torpedo dropped from a helicopter, which subsequently flies away could even work.

Keep in mind that an ASROC is merely a standard Mk46 torpedo mounted on a rocket booster that basically launches the torpedo to the right spot, and the torpedo does the actual homing.

So it would make no sense whatsoever to build in some sort of command detonation ability into either the booster part or the torpedo itself, since the booster is dumb, and the torpedo isn’t really geared toward having radio communications.

They just refer to it on the show as ASROC, and the Wiki link I provided shows that the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force is one of the operators of that particular system.

I was broadening the question of whether any weapon would have a remote self-destruct to include those with a closed-loop command connection, not self-guided or wirelessly remote controlled.

ASROC and SUBROC never qualified in either characteristic, of course. Nor would any air-dropped torpedo, which they actually qualifies as.

Well, the torpedo variant does. The nuclear depth charge variant :eek: doesn’t.

It’s the old trope of nuclear weapons having a self-destruct device or means of disarming the warhead post-launch; it makes for more suspenseful fiction and its more exciting if Steven Segal can disarm the Tomahawk about to nuke Hawaii with seconds left on the clock. The fail-safe on nuclear weapons is not launching them, there is no reason you’d want to have the ability to disarm a nuclear warhead after its launched and very obvious reasons why you would not want to make it possible.

The scene sounds like its pretty much stolen from The Bedford Incident where the Bedford accidentally fires an ASROC at a Soviet submarine - and the captain tries to disarm it. Excellent Cold War movie, I can’t recommend seeing it enough if you haven’t already. The “The Bedford will never fire first. But if he fires one, I’ll fire one.” “Fire one!” scene on youtube.