In a bid to boost its underwater firepower, the Indian Navy has decided to induct the indigenous developed heavyweight torpedo Varunastra into in its arsenal, reports Times of India.
According to the report, the weapon developed by the Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NSTL), Vishakhapatnam will put India in a group of eight countries that have the capability to manufacture heavyweight torpedoes.
A contract for manufacturing the torpedoes to arm both submarines and warships was signed on 11 June between Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The Rs 1,187 crore (170m $) contract was signed by BDL’s director (technical) NP Diwakar and MoD’s joint secretary acquisition manager (maritime and systems) Nidhi Chhibber in Delhi.
“The heavyweight torpedo, or Varunastra, is a ship-launched, electrically-propelled underwater weapon equipped with one of the most advanced automatic and remote-controlled guidance systems. The weapon system uses its own intelligence in tracing the target,” BDL said in an official note on Thursday (13 June), as reported by TOI.
As per the report, BDL has been involved in the production of the torpedo, which is considered to be 95 percent indigenous, and had earlier delivered it to the Indian Navy in 2016 for evaluation. Following this, a decision was taken to order the production of the torpedo.
Capable of hitting stealth submarines underwater, the 1,500-kg Varunastra can carry a warhead weighing 250 kg and has an operational range of 40 km. The anti-submarine electric torpedo is seven to eight metres long with a diameter of 533 mm.
According to the DRDO, the torpedo, which can travel at a speed of 40 knots (74 kmph), can be launched both from ships and submarines.