The technology employed in auto airbags is stable, reliable and cost effective so why not use it to launch a torpedo.
Sea Corp. a local company here in Rhode Island has developed and tested such a system in the past year. In the spring of 2004 the company tested such a system aboard the Martha’s Vineyard High Speed Ferry. During the five day test 31 launches were made of torpedo and countermeasure shapes at speeds up to 35 knots. Here’s a link to their R&D page describing their Advanced Surface Launcher (ASL) system’s development. Also on the page there is a streaming video of one of their test launches (Link here – warning loads slow about a minute with broadband).
When I watched the streaming video a few thoughts came to mind.
One was obviously that the system may be employed on the Navy’s new LCS (Fast Ferry ;-) class of ships under development. A second would be a possible method for celebrities to take out those annoying Paparazzi on their way to "The Vineyard". Lastly, the locals may need to take down a number of environmentally unfriendly structures proposed for Nantucket Sound that they seem to have a problem with.