G. Narasimha Rao

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) here on Thursday handed over two advanced exercise mines (AEMs) to the Navy, marking an important day in the laboratory’s history.

Chief Controller (R and D) of DRDO A. Sivathanu Pillai handed over the service records of the AEMs to Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral Raman P. Suthan at a function. NSTL completed the Rs.7.85-crore indigenous project well ahead of the December 31 deadline at a cost of only one-fifth or one-sixth of the cost of imported technology.

While congratulating the scientists and support staff and industries, Dr. Pillai thanked the Navy for its support.

NSTL, which had developed several mines and torpedoes, was working on a new thermal engine heavy weight ship-launched torpedo “Varunastra.” The project was in the final stage and the new weapon would be inducted into the Navy by mid-2009.

Vice-Admiral Suthan said the Navy was short of exercise mines, which had a direct effect on training its personnel. The AEMs should help it to overcome this problem, he said. NSTL director V. Bhujanga Rao said this was a momentous occasion for the laboratory and the Navy’s support was crucial in developing the process-based advanced mines.