India is planning to develop a facility in Kyrgyzstan to produce state of the art torpedoes in order to strengthen its under water attack capabilities.
The Torpedo Testing Centre located at Issyk Kul lake in Karakul province, 250 km away from the capital Bishkek, is considered one of the best locations to launch and recover torpedoes fired during test trials.
“The facility was visited by Defence Minister A.K. Antony a few months ago. An Indian delegation would be visiting Kyrgyzstan soon to make an assessment of investment needed for the project and the terms and conditions for co-developing it,” DRDO Chief Controller William Selvamurthy told PTI.
To develop existing infrastructure at the centre, India has proposed to engage local companies with available know how in torpedo technology to co-develop the facility.
“India is willing to develop the Centre to test all kinds of torpedoes such as heavy weight torpedoes and those having thermal navigation system,” Mr. Selvamurthy said.
The centre has a network of sensors which can monitor the speed, velocity, homing in and direction of the torpedo once it is fired. This enables scientists to make necessary modifications in the navigation system to make the missiles more accurate and fool proof.
The torpedoes fired in the lake are also recoverable enabling the scientists to make physical verification of its structure for further study.
A torpedo is a self-propelled explosive projectile weapons, launched above or below the water surface, propelled under water towards a target.
India is also planning to use the facility to test the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Developed by Naval Scientific and Technological Laboratory (NSTL).
Developed during the Soviet era, the facility was used by the Russian military as a testing site for torpedo propulsion and guidance systems, and Karakol was home to a sizable population of military personnel and their families.