Pre-World War II

45 cm (17.7") M12D, Toulon

Ship Class Used On Destroyers and Capital Ships
Date Of Design 1912
Date In Service about 1914
Weight 2,231 lbs. (1,012 kg)
Overall Length 18 ft. 10 in. (5.750 m)
Explosive Charge 320 lbs. (145 kg) TNT
Range / Speed 8,750 yards (8,000 m) / 28 knots
Power Kerosene Wet-heater

45 cm (17.7") M18, Toulon

Ship Class Used On Destroyers and Capital Ships
Date Of Design 1918
Date In Service about 1920
Weight N/A
Overall Length 19 ft. 3.5 in. (5.880 m)
Explosive Charge N/A
Range / Speed 3,300 yards (3,000 m) / 34 knots
Power Kerosene Wet-heater

55 cm (21.65") 19V, Toulon

Ship Class Used On Pre-war Destroyers
Date Of Design 1919
Date In Service about 1921
Weight 3,053 lbs. (1,385 kg)
Overall Length 21 ft. 8 in (6.600 m)
Explosive Charge 525 lbs. (238 kg) picric acid
Range / Speed 2,200 yards (2,000 m) / 43 knots
4,400 yards (4,000 m) / 35 knots
Power Kerosene Wet-heater

Used a four-cylinder radial engine.

55 cm (21.65") 19D, Toulon

Ship Class Used On Pre-war Destroyers
Date Of Design 1919
Date In Service about 1921
Weight 4,034 lbs. (1,830 kg)
Overall Length 26 ft. 11 in. (8.200 m)
Explosive Charge 525 lbs. (238 kg) picric acid
Range / Speed 6,560 yards (6,000 m) / 35 knots
15,300 yards (14,000 m) / 25 knots
Power Kerosene Wet-heater

Essentially an enlarged and longer range version of the 19V.

55 cm (21.65") 23DT, Toulon

Ship Class Used On Destroyers and Flotilla Leaders
Date Of Design 1923
Date In Service about 1925
Weight 4,560 lbs. (2,068 kg)
Overall Length 27 ft. 2 in. (8.280 m)
Explosive Charge 683 lbs. (310 kg) TNT
Range / Speed 9,840 yards (9,000 m) / 39 knots
14,200 yards (13,000 m) / 35 knots
Power Schneider alcohol / air heater

Much improved torpedo with a four-cylinder radial engine. The alcohol acted as a diluent as well as a fuel source.

55 cm (21.65") 24V and 24M, Toulon

Ship Class Used On Submarines
Date Of Design 1924
Date In Service about 1926
Weight 3,285 lbs. (1,490 kg)
Overall Length 27 ft. 2 in. (8.280 m)
Explosive Charge 683 lbs. (310 kg) TNT
Range / Speed 3,300 yards (3,000 m) / 45 knots
7,650 yards (7,000 m) / 35 knots
Power Schneider alcohol / air heater

These figures are for the earliest versions. Later versions had ranges of 4,400 yards (4,000 m) / 45 knots and 8,750 yards (8,000 m) / 35 knots. There is also mention of a 915 lbs. (415 kg) TNT explosive charge on some of the later models.

40 cm (15.75") M26V, 26W and 26DA, Toulon / St. Tropez

Ship Class Used On 26V: Submarines
26W: MTB
26DA: Aircraft
Date Of Design 1926
Date In Service about 1928
Weight 1,486 lbs. (674 kg)
Overall Length 16 ft. 10.5 in. (5.140 m)
Explosive Charge 317 lbs. (144 kg) TNT
Range / Speed 2,200 yards (2,000 m) / 44 knots
3,300 yards (3,000 m) / 35
Power Alcohol Wet-heater

A single-stage turbine engined torpedo whose basic design was used for a variety of purposes. One of the best turbine systems developed in the period between World War I and World War II. Aircraft torpedoes had a shroud ring and were dropped from 260 feet (80 m).

World War II

55 cm (21.65") 44(?), Toulon

Ship Class Used On Not in service
Date Of Design 1944
Date In Service Not in service
Weight N/A
Overall Length N/A
Explosive Charge N/A
Range / Speed 3,300 yards (3,000 m) / 55 knots
19,700 yards (18,000 m) / 40 knots
Power Oxygen

The defeat of France early in World War II stopped most torpedo development and production. In 1944-45 an oxygen-fueled turbine engine was produced for this torpedo but very few details are available.

Post-World War II

55 cm (21.65") K2

Ship Class Used On Submarines
Date Of Design N/A
Date In Service 1956
Weight 2,433 lbs. (1,104 kg)
Overall Length 173 in (4.400 m)
Explosive Charge 617 lbs. (280 kg) HBX-3 or TNT
Range / Speed 1,000 yards (900 m) / 50 knots
Power Oxygen-alcohol

Equivalent to the USA's Weapon Alfa, the British Limbo and the Italian Menon, using a torpedo powerplant rather than a rocket to propel the torpedo to the desired point.

55 cm (21.65") E12

Ship Class Used On Submarines
Date Of Design 1955
Date In Service 1960(?)
Weight 3,637 lbs. (1,650 kg)
Overall Length 276.0 in (7.0 m)
Explosive Charge 727 lbs. (330 kg)
Range / Speed 13,000 yards (12,000 m) / 25 knots
Power Battery

Passive-homing torpedo that depends upon a firing solution delivering it to within 770 yards (700 m) of the target). This torpedo was developed based upon captured German torpedoes such as the T-5 homing torpedo.

55 cm (21.65") E14

Ship Class Used On Submarines
Date Of Design 1955
Date In Service 1960
Weight 3,637 lbs. (1,650 kg)
Overall Length 168.5 in (4.279 m)
Explosive Charge 440 lbs. (200 kg) Aluminum Tolite
Range / Speed 5,500 yards (5,000 m) / 25.5 knots
Power Nickel-Cadmium Battery

A smaller version of the E12. Designed primarily for the small French anti-submarine submarines. Modified at least twice during the past thirty years to replace the batteries with silver-zinc models and better engines to double the range and increase the speed by 10 knots as well as better seeker-heads and larger warheads. No longer in French service, but still used by some export countries.

55 cm (21.65") E15

Ship Class Used On Submarines
Date Of Design 1955
Date In Service 1960(?)
Weight 3,637 lbs. (1,650 kg)
Overall Length 232.3 in (5.900 m)
Explosive Charge 660 lbs. (300 kg) Aluminum Tolite or HBX-3
Range / Speed 13,000 yards (12,000 m) / 25 knots
Power Nickel-Cadmium Battery

Export version of the E12 using a lengthened hull of the E14. Designed primarily to attack surface targets. Mod 2 version used a new homing head and had silver-zinc batteries.

55 cm (21.65") E18

Ship Class Used On Surface ships
Date Of Design N/A
Date In Service N/A
Weight 2,711 lbs. (1,230 kg)
Overall Length 205.9 in (5.230 m)
Explosive Charge 660 lbs. (300 kg) Aluminum Tolite or HBX-3
Range / Speed 19,700 yards (18,000 m) / 35 knots
Power Battery

Dual purpose (anti-ship and anti-submarine) torpedo. Has a passive seeker head.

55 cm (21.65") F17

Ship Class Used On Submarines and surface ships
Date Of Design N/A
Date In Service 1973
Weight 3,108 lbs. (1,410 kg)
Overall Length 236 in (6.000 m)
Explosive Charge 551 lbs. (250 kg) HBX-3
Range / Speed 19,700 yards (18,000 m) / 35 knots
31,700 yards (29,000 m) if operated at 24 knots during wire guidance phase
Power Zinc-silver oxide batteries

Wire-guided dual-purpose torpedo with active-passive terminal homing.

F17 Mod 1 is 323 in (5.900 m) long, range / speed of 22,000 yards (20,000 m) / 35 knots.

F17 Mod 2 (1988) is 212.0 in (5.384 m) long, range / speed of 22,000 yards (20,000 m) / 40 knots.

F17P Mod 2 (1985) is 221 in (5.620 m) long, range / speed of 32,000 yards (30,000 m) / 35 knots.

These torpedoes have been experimentally tested using fiber optic cables in place of the traditional wires.

55 cm (21.65") L3

Ship Class Used On Submarines
Date Of Design N/A
Date In Service 1960
Weight 2,006 lbs. (910 kg)
Overall Length 170.1 in (4.320 m)
Explosive Charge 440 lbs. (200 kg) Tolite A1
Range / Speed 5,500 yards (5,000 m) / 25 knots
Power Nickel-cadmium Battery

Acoustic-homing anti-submarine torpedo. No longer in service in the French Navy but still used by export countries. About 600 manufactured.

53.3 cm (21") L4

Ship Class Used On Aircraft
Date Of Design N/A
Date In Service 1964
Weight 1,157 lbs. (525 kg)
Overall Length 123 in (3.130 m)
Explosive Charge 331 lbs. (150 kg) HBX-3
Range / Speed 5,500 yards (5,000 m) / 30 knots
Power Nickel-cadmium Battery

Also used as the payload of the Malafon anti-submarine missile. Lightweight anti-submarine torpedo with an active acoustic homing system. This was the first French torpedo designed to English measurement units as part of the NATO standardization of weapons program. This torpedo describes a circular path until its seeker finds a target. Can be used against submarines traveling at speeds up to 20 knots and at depths down to 1,000 feet (300 m).

53.3 cm (21") L5

Ship Class Used On Surface Ships and submarines
Date Of Design N/A
Date In Service L5 Mod 1 and Mod 3: 1971
L5 Mod 4: 1980
Weight 2061 lbs. (935 kg)
Overall Length 170.1 in (4.320 m)
Explosive Charge 440 lbs. (200 kg) HBX-3 or TNT
Range / Speed Mod 1 and Mod 3: 7,700 yards (7,000 m) / 35 knots
Mod 4: 10,000 yards (9,500 m) / 35 knots
Power Silver-zinc Battery

The L5 was intended to take advantage of the 1960s increase in sonar ranges to approximately four times those possible during World War II. The L5 comes in three models, the L5 Mod 1, L5 Mod 3 and L5 Mod 4. Mod 1 and 4 are launched by surface ships while the Mod 3 is for surface ships and submarines. Can operate at depths down to 1,800 feet (550 m).

55 cm (21.65") Z13 / Z15

Ship Class Used On Submarines
Date Of Design N/A
Date In Service 1960
Weight 3,780 lbs. (1,715 kg)
Overall Length 280 in (7.120 m)
Explosive Charge 660 lbs. (300 kg) Aluminum Tolite or HBX-3
Range / Speed 5,500 yards (5,000 m) / 25 knots
Power Nickel-cadmium Battery

Another torpedo based upon captured German technology, this was a pattern runner developed from the German LUT design. Z16 was the export version.

32.4 cm (12.75") NTL-90 (Murène)

Ship Class Used On Surface Ships
Date Of Design N/A
Date In Service 1992
Weight 551 lbs. (250 kg)
Overall Length 102.4 in (2.600 m)
Explosive Charge 110 lbs. (50 kg) Shaped-charge
Range / Speed 10,000 yards (9,000 m) / 53 knots
Power Aluminum-silver oxide battery

A light-weight torpedo intended to replace the USN Mark 46, the L4 and the L5 torpedoes. Includes a parachute attachment for aircraft launching. Homing is active-passive.

Sources

"Naval Weapons of World War Two" by John Campbell

"The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems 1991/92" by Norman Friedman

"Jane's Underwater Warfare Systems 1997-98" edited by Anthony J. Watts