Do "Shooting Solutions" exist in the Navy ?

In the film “Down Periscope” they use the term Shooting solution when ready to fire on another submarine.

But a google search picks up little except in reference to the film.

I have trouble thinking that the film writers just made the term up so I have to wonder where they got it from.

Is it a rare or out dated term ?
Did they use it in the wrong context ?

Or is it pure fiction?

The more common Navy term is “firing solution” and it’s used pretty much as in the film.

Are you sure the term you mean isn’t firing solution?

Paging robby and casdave

I’ve always heard the term “Firing Solution”, and that coupled with submarine in Google yields 2770 hits. Not sure if modern subs would use/need this, but older WWII subs needed to calculate speeds/distances/angles (think I first saw the term in Silent Service PC Game).

Bah, beaten to it!

I once asked a very similar question!

Quite a few folks hopped in to answer my original question, and dispel my erroneous misconceptions (being in the Air Force, thinking like a fighter jock and all).

Tripler
There ya go.

I believe the term will refer to anything that needs shooting, not just submarines. And not just used by submariners either. Every weapon needs a firing solution in some way shape or form to hit its target. A pistol might need to be within 10 feet and aimed very precisely to have a 50-50 chance of a hit. An ICBM might need to be launched from within 5,000 miles. It’s also sometimes called a basket – if the weapon is properly oriented within the parameters of the basket, it will likely hit. Guided weapons have bigger baskets.

Every weapon also has CEP (circular error probability) which measures the precision of the weapon. Well, maybe not all use this term – I think rifles use the phrase minutes of angle to mean pretty much the same thing.

Yes, all American submarines use this terminology to this day. Its is still important for us to verify all aspects of the target prior to the shot.

I love you guys. thanks.

From my days in the Navy I seem to recall the term fire control solution. I note that Googling this produces large numbers of hits.

That term is used as well. A fire control solution is obtainable at any time so long as there is some type of track on a contact.

Yes, torpedos need to know where to go and where to look before they start tracking on their own. A common tactic is not to use the torpedo’s active internal guidance until the very last moment - torpedos can relatively silently travel slowly through water, guided by a wire connected to the launching ship, getting updated information that the launching ship is silently gathering so that the target may not be aware of the torpedo’s presence until the very end.

The old WW2-style torpedo data computers that computer firing solutions are rather clever machines, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torpedo_Data_Computer if you’re interested.

“relatively silently” ? “Slowly” ? Those are to words I would never use to describe a torpedo.
Although they have gotten quieter over the years, they are far from quiet. As far as slow…the slowest speed is still FAR from slow.

Probably a British v. American thing. The Royal Navy avoids the use of the word “fire” to mean anything but a fire. They prefer “shoot” to avoid confusion. I would bet a British screenwriter mucked up the USN lingo at some point along the line.

Compared to a missile or shell?

Do you have expertise on the subject, or are you just guessing?

It’s my understanding that when the US ship is the aggressor, they will attempt to manuever the torpedo near the target without detection before speeding it up and activating its internal guidance. This gives the target less reaction time, and can also obscure the firing sub’s location by attacking from an angle different than the one the attacking sub would be on.

So yes, it’s my understanding that the torpedo moves out quietly (ideally undetectable) and slowly (a few knots) until the terminal guidance stages. Do you think they just fire them out at full speed right off the bat as standard procedure?

Yes, I have first hand experience in submarine approach and attack. Although I must admit the attack portion has only been simulated thank god.
The torpedos leave the tube at a very high rate of speed. Matter of fact there are interlocks preventing the activation of the torpedo, one of which is a g-force minimum. Granted the weapon does not leave at full speed but it does leave at a relatively high speed, relative to most things in ocean.
Your tactics are in the right place but your torpedo operations are off.

On top of which, impulsing a fish in one of the noisiest things I’ve ever heard a boat do. Mind you, most of that noise is internal, but it’s not exactly a stealthy operation.

Tranq
Qualified in Submarines

Thats exactly why it should be done with a lot of speed across the line of site as well as in the contacts baffles…if at all possible.

I agree that SenorBeef’s comment about “a few knots” suggest that he’s misguided (ha, ha) about torpedoes, but much of what he says is true. Although a torpedo travels very quickly compared to almost anything else in the water, it’s still slow enough that at range, even a ship has a chance to dodge it. Modern guidance systems obviously work against that, but we had established drills that involved changes in speed and heading whenever torpedoes were detected. Airborne ordinance travel at speeds that make maneuvering futile, reducing defense to active systems (such as the CIWS Phalanx). I suspect that SenorBeef was thinking of the relative difference in speed between torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.