The launch station from the 1930s was a part of the closed torpedo factory. It is not the first facility of its kind in the same location. Only 50 meters away, already in the 19th century two launch stations were used. Time has taken its toll and they succumbed to the technological changes required by the continuous development of these weapons.
In contrast to those missing wooden stations, which still remind of the invention of the torpedo, it is a more solid, reinforced concrete structure. Thanks to its location in the vicinity of the world’s first torpedo production plant, it is a testimony to the technical inventiveness of Rijeka of its time, and a landmark of industrial heritage significant in the world context.
The story about the torpedo factory started with an idea of Rijeka’s citizen Giovanni Luppis about a defence weapon known as the “coast saviour”. Luppis was trying to realise his idea at the beginning of the 1860s, however without success.
Fortunately, the idea appealed to Robert Whitehead, the director of the Rijeka Technical Institute. Based on Luppis’s idea, Whitehead developed a solution that resembled a metal fish and called it the torpedo. The prototype was tested in 1866 and in 1875 the Institute became the R. Whitehead & Co. Torpedo Factory. It was the first torpedo factory in the world.
The launch station, which dates back to 1930, was used to simulate the launching of missiles from ships and planes. The factory establishes facilities abroad, eventually allowing licensed production worldwide. Production in Rijeka will last until 1966. The launch station from the 1930s was not only a place where the launching of missiles from ships was simulated, but also from airplanes.