Torpedo Kater TKA G-5
In the early 1930s the USSR began mass production of a "mosquito fleet" consisting of aluminum torpedo boats that had high speeds of around 50-55 knots.
Development of this project was carried out by the special design bureau of the noted aircraft designer A.N. Tupolev.
After building prototype models, series production of the first boats, which were armed with 457mm torpedoes, commenced under the designation "Sh-4".
The creation of a new type of boat which was more responsive to the needs of the Soviet Navy was completed in 1933.
It was accepted for service under the designator "G-5", armed with two 533mm torpedoes.
Initially built at plant No.194 "A.Marty" in Leningrad, then since 1939 at plant No.532 in Kerch, production switched to plant No.639 in Tyumen with the beginning of the war.
In total 329 units of no less than 9 series were built, including 75 during the war.
This number does not include 4 boats, delivered to the Navy of Republican Spain in 1936.
During the years of the Great Patriotic War (World War II) boats of this type received various armament configurations including 7.62mm ShKAS and 12.7mm DShK AA guns as well as M-8-M (24 x 82mm rockets) for the 14 "Artkater" ("AKA-5" pr.213) variant boats.
Intensive use of the boats revealed a number of specific shortcomings, typical for boats of the Tupolev design, some of which could not be remedied.
Inherent disadvantages were :
The "G-5" boats took part in the Civil War in Spain, the Second World War, and the Korean War.
- short range,
- limited seaworthiness,
- insufficient hull strength,
- poor navigability,
- awful torpedo use,
- impossibility of reaching the upper deck on the fly and
- vulnerability to air attacks.
Despite the heroism of their crews, combat victories scored by these boats were not numerous.
They took part in operations in the Baltic and Black Seas, as well as in the Pacific Ocean, where they carried out torpedo attacks, laid minefields, landed troops and escorted convoys.
As was the case with U.S. patrol and torpedo (PT) boats and British motor torpedo boats (MTB), the main enemy targets turned out to be trawlers, German high-speed landing barges, and enemy torpedo boats, rather than battleships and cruisers.
Losses were high, though.
During the war 84 units were sunk (36 from the Baltic Fleet and 48 from the Black Sea Fleet).
In addition, 3 TKA were captured in 1941-1944 and became part of the Finnish Navy as "Mpip", "Vita" and the “Y-3”, however, in 1944, were returned and rejoined the Baltic Fleet.