The Indian Navy has decided to induct an indigenously (95%) developed heavyweight torpedo "Varunastra" into its arsenal.
This induction will put India in a group of only eight countries that have the capability to manufacture heavyweight torpedoes.
Torpedo is a cigar-shaped, self-propelled underwater missile, launched from a submarine, surface vessel, or airplane and designed for exploding upon contact with the hulls of surface vessels and submarines.
Varunastra is a ship-launched, electrically-propelled underwater weapon equipped with one of the most advanced automatic and remote-controlled guidance systems. The weapon system uses its own intelligence in tracing the target. It can hit stealth submarines underwater.
It is seven to eight metres long, weighs 1,500 kg and has a diameter of 533 mm. The anti-submarine electric torpedo when fired can travel at 40 knots, or 74 kmph. The operational range is 40 km and it can carry a warhead weighing 250 kg.
The weapon has been jointly developed by the Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NTSL), Visakhapatnam and the Bharat Dynamics Limited -BDL (Hyderabad).
Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam was established on August 20, 1969 to undertake research and development of complete major naval systems (Underwater Mines, Torpedoes, Fire Control Systems, Weapon Launchers, Targets, Decoys, etc) for the Indian Navy to make it self-reliant.
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a Government of India Enterprise under the Ministry of Defence was established in Hyderabad in the year 1970 to be a manufacturing base for guided missiles and allied defence equipment.