NPOL’s torpedo defence system to equip Navy

An artist's impression of how the Maareech advanced torpedo decoy system functions.  

An advanced system developed by a consortium of Indian Defence laboratories led by the Thrikkakara-based Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) to defend naval ships against torpedo attack will now be integrated on as many as 30 ships operated by the Indian Navy.

While 11 ships will be equipped with the full system, named Maareech Advanced Torpedo Decoy System, the remaining will get just the torpedo countermeasure capability that’s part of it.

Acquisition cleared

The Defence Acquisition Council, led by Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman, on Tuesday cleared acquisition of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and non-ASW variants of the system which will be manufactured by Bharat Electronics. Initially, systems worth ₹850 crore will be acquired to arm warships.

Two systems are already functional on INS Ganga and Gomati which were used for user evaluation trials of the indigenously-developed systems.

“The survival capability of a ship is greater if the attacking torpedo can be detected early and also at a range equal to or more than the escape range of the platform under attack. A fully integrated Maareech system has both torpedo detection and countermeasure capability,’’ said R. Rajesh, NPOL scientist and spokesperson.

Tactical advantage

‘‘Also, the system offers tactical advantage by classification of the torpedo along with localisation and target motion parameters. The escape solutions are then evolved which will advise the crew of the ship on the most appropriate manoeuvre and countermeasure actions necessary to defeat the threat,” said Mr. Rajesh.

Besides the NPOL, Visakhapatnam-based Naval Science and Technological Laboratory was involved in developing the system. The torpedo defence sonar that is part of Maareech was developed by a team led by project director K. Ajith Kumar, NPOL scientist.

Major milestone

S. Kedarnath Shenoy, NPOL director, said that the induction of Maareech would be a major milestone for naval research and development as it would be the first time the indigenously designed towed array sonar system would be arming Indian warships.

With this, the NPOL has now successfully developed multiple configurations of sonars such as hull mounted sonars for ships, submarine sonar systems, towed array sonars and airborne dunking sonar systems for the Navy.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 9:57:59 PM |

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