Enhancement of Under Water Strike Capabilities of Indian Navy | Security Risks Asia Made with Humane Club

Enhancement of Under Water Strike Capabilities of Indian Navy

Published Jun 17, 2019
Updated Apr 13, 2020

Under water strike weapons systems of the Indian Navy are improving with the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) signing a contract worth of Rs 1,187.82 Crores for supply of Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Indian Navy.

The contract was signed by Shri NP Diwakar, Director (Technical), BDL and Ms Nidhi Chhibber, Joint Secretary & Acquisition Manager (Maritime & Systems), Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India at New Delhi on 11 June 2019.

The execution of contract will be in next 42 months. The weapon will be manufactured at BDL Visakhapatnam Unit under collaboration with DRDO.

The Varunastra Heavy Weight Torpedo is a ship launched, electrically propelled underwater weapon equipped with one of the most advanced automatic guidance systems. The weapon system uses its own intelligence in tracking the target.

Varunastra has been developed by NSTL, a premier DRDO laboratory based at Visakhapatnam.

M/s Bharat Dynamics Ltd has been associated as a production partner in concurrent engineering mode.

Varunastra is seen as a versatile naval weapon which can be fired from the Rajput class destroyers, Delhi class and all future Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) ships capable of firing heavy weight torpedoes and is capable of targeting quiet and stealthy submarines both in deep and littoral waters even in intense countermeasure atmosphere.

The Torpedo weighs 1.25 tons and has a warhead of 250 kgs with a speed of 40 nautical miles.

The Torpedo was first handed over to the Indian Navy on 29-June-2016 by then Defence Minister late Shri Manohar Parrikar.

A time from handing over of technology to signing of contract of two years needs to be reviewed.

The Torpedo has been developed by Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam which undertakes research and development of complete major naval systems (Underwater Mines, Torpedoes, Fire Control Systems, Weapon Launchers, Targets, Decoys, etc) for the Indian Navy to make it self-reliant.

NSTL was established to work towards design and development of underwater weapons and associated systems and structural design of naval platforms.

The NSTL also uses the Noise and Degaussing Ranges are setup at Goa. The ranges consist of DG ranges for MCMV vessels and Steel Ships and a Noise Range.

However low speed of attack and detection, counter measures may impact the Torpedo.

Meanwhile DRDO NPOL, Kochi has also developed the “Maareech” an Advanced Torpedo Defence System (ATDS) for surface ships. Maareech ATDS is capable of providing reliable defence mechanism against a possible torpedo attack by vintage as well as modern torpedoes. Maareech system has both torpedo detection and countermeasure capability. Core functions include automatic detection, tracking and alert of incoming torpedoes and decoying of acoustic homing torpedoes.