The indigenously developed advanced light-weight torpedo and the Akash missile system will be handed over to the Navy and the Indian Air Force respectively at a function in Hyderabad on March 3. Defence Minister A.K. Antony will be present at the event.

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad, is the production agency for both the torpedo and the missile. The Navy has christened it Torpedo Advanced Light (TAL).

The Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam, which comes under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has designed and developed the TAL. The Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, developed Akash, a surface-to-air missile.

Torpedoes are underwater missiles which are fired from ships, submarines or helicopters against ships and submarines.

The TAL is about 2.75 metres long, weighs 220 kg and packs 50 kg of explosives. It is an anti-submarine torpedo and can travel upto a maximum distance of seven km before taking out an enemy submarine. It can be launched from ships, helicopters and aircraft. The Navy has placed an order for 25 TALs.

S.V. Rangarajan, Director, NSTL, said, “We have indigenously developed the TAL from scratch when no technology from outside was available to us to build it. The TAL is a totally indigenous missile except for a few integrated circuits and sensors. It has a speed of 33 knots an hour and can operate at a maximum depth of 540 metres.”

The NSTL is the laboratory which develops underwater weapons such as torpedos, mines and their associated fire control systems, and decoys.

Akash, an anti-aircraft defence system, can simultaneously engage several targets. It has a warhead weighing 60 kg and a maximum interception range of 25 km. Rajendra, the radar developed by the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a DRDO laboratory situated at Bangalore, forms a part of the Akash system. Rajendra does the surveillance, tracks the target, acquires it and guides the missile towards it.