At a time when India is looking at improving its naval capabilities due to China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean, the Indian Navy’s firepower has received a major boost with the delivery of a torpedo.
In a ceremony held yesterday, the first Varunastra, an indigenously designed and developed heavy weight torpedo, was handed over to the Indian Navy by its manufacturer Bharat Dynamics Limited (BEL).
The weapon was designed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, a unit of the Defence Research and Development Organisation in Visakhapatnam. It is being manufactured for the Navy at a BEL facility in the same city.
Varunastra is an anti-submarine torpedo and is electrically-propelled. The weapon has a range of 40 kilometers, can travel at a speed of up to 70 kilometers per hour and dive to a maximum depth of 400 meters.
It can carry a warhead weighing 250 kg.
The torpedo, the DRDO says, is capable of targeting submarines “both in deep and shallow waters in an intense countermeasures environment”.
BDL had signed a contract worth Rs 1,187 crore to manufacture the weapon, which is considered to be around 95 per cent indigenous.
Reports say India plans to sell the torpedo to friendly nations in the future.