Indian Navy Updates

Varunastra: Indigenous Heavy Weight Torpedo


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Varunastra

Mains level: Not Much


Central Idea

  • Test-firing achievement: The indigenously designed and developed heavy weight torpedo (HWT) Varunastra was successfully test-fired by the Indian Navy, targeting an undersea target with a live warhead.

Varunastra: Feature Details

  • Advanced features: Varunastra is a ship-launched anti-submarine torpedo equipped with low drift navigational systems, acoustic homing, advanced acoustic countermeasures, autonomous guidance algorithms, an insensitive munitions warhead, and a GPS-based recovery aid for practice torpedoes.
  • Designed and developed by NSTL: Varunastra was designed and developed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) based in Vizag under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Manufacturing by BDL: Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) is responsible for the manufacturing of Varunastra.

Technical Specifications and Capabilities

  • Speed, depth, and range: Varunastra boasts a maximum speed of 40 knots and a maximum operating depth of 600 meters. It has long-range and multi-manoeuvering capabilities.
  • Acoustic homing and tracking: The torpedo features acoustic homing with a wide look angle, allowing it to track silent targets effectively.
  • Advanced guidance and navigational systems: Varunastra incorporates autonomous advanced guidance algorithms and drift navigational systems, enabling precise targeting and long-endurance operations.

Significance of the test fire

  • Mainstay of anti-submarine warfare: Varunastra is set to become the primary anti-submarine torpedo for all naval warships, replacing older torpedoes capable of firing HWT.
  • Enhanced anti-submarine warfare: The induction of Varunastra as the mainstay anti-submarine torpedo strengthens the Indian Navy’s capabilities in countering underwater threats.
  • Self-reliance and indigenous development: The successful development and deployment of Varunastra highlight India’s progress in indigenous defence technologies and reduce dependence on imports.

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