NSTL to develop optic-guided heavyweight torpedoes

Submarine variant of ‘Varunastra’ to be test-fired in two months, says outgoing Director

July 28, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:59 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

NSTL Director C.D. Malleswar explaining the firing of a torpedo from a ship in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. —Photo: K.R. Deepak

NSTL Director C.D. Malleswar explaining the firing of a torpedo from a ship in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. —Photo: K.R. Deepak

Having delivered heavyweight torpedo ‘Varunastra’ to the Navy and anti-torpedo decoy system ‘Mareech’, the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) here will now embark on development of optic-guided heavyweight torpedoes and lightweight torpedoes with extended range.

“We are moving towards strategic domain taking up products for various advanced platforms and the user confidence is high,” NSTL Director C.D. Malleswar has said.

Major projects every year

The NSTL will see the launch of major projects every year during the next three or four years. The submarine variant of ‘Varunastra’ would be test-fired in two months and the optic-guided torpedo trials by the year-end, Mr. Malleswar told a press conference on Wednesday on the eve of 47{+t}{+h}Lab Raising Day.

The NSTL worked with BDL and BEL in concurrent engineering mode and once the Navy placed the orders, 73 ‘Varunastras’ and 33 ‘Mareechs’ costing about Rs.2,000 crore, will be made by them for deployment. Besides, the NSTL has made long strides in fire control system. It has developed ‘Panchendriya’ for submarines, another system for helicopters. Its integrated anti-submarine warfare complex ‘MOD 0’ has been inducted on six Rajput Class ships.

ASW complex ‘MOD C’ has been designed for corvettes of Kolkata, Kamorta and Kochi Class and these are also ready for inducting ‘Varunastra’ and ‘Mareech’.

The NSTL has been given ‘Agni’ award in self-reliance for fire control systems, Mr. Malleswar said.

Door is also open for defence exports with requests from countries like Vietnam and Myanmar. He attributed the delay in developing ‘Varunastra’ to the challenges under water.

International facility

He recalled that during the trials in 2014, the Torpedo Recovery Vessel sunk and the torpedo under trial was recovered from over 200 metre depth. It was the first time that a torpedo was recovered from such depths, he said.

Mr. Malleswar, who is laying down office this month-end, said the NSTL had an excellent international facility in hydrodynamic research with Seakeeping and Manoeuvring Basin inaugurated recently by the Defence Minister at which seakeeping abilities of vessels are tested with models.

The Cavitation tunnel identifies operational regimes for a ship or submarine. The recently installed propulsion system integration centre integrates engines and propellers. It also works on minimising signature of vessels to prevent detection by enemy ships. “So we have total ship designing indigenously with weapons, propellers, fire control systems, mines and decoys,” Mr. Malleswar said.

The lab is on a high pedestal with completion of projects, the entire DRDO team was here to receive ‘Mareech’, for acquisition of Torpedo Launch and Recovery Vessel and Joint Consultative Machinery III meeting. “There is no looking back and we are confident of doing anything,” he adds.

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