Sunday, May 01, 2016

High time India fast track its Indigenous attempts on Heavyweight torpedoes (HWTs)


Mytake :With the Recent cancellation of a deal to procure Black Shark Heavyweight Torpedoes for its front line conventional Kalavari class Diesel submarines and Nuclear Arihant class submarines meant that India’s major underwater sea platforms will be operational without one of its major offensive weapons to take on enemy submarines and warships in high seas. 
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) who are in charge of developing Torpedoes for Indian Navy has successfully developed ship-launched Varunastra heavyweight torpedoes (HWTs) which will likely enter into production and service by the end of this year as per media reports. 
Variant of Varunastra heavyweight torpedoes for operation from Submarine is dubbed “Takshak” this is one program which DRDO and Indian Navy needs to fast track to fill the void left cancellation of Black Shark deal and offer permanent solutions to avoid import dependency of crucial weapons systems for its operations by Navy . 
Takshak HWTs are wire guided torpedoes which require constant communication between the torpedo and the firing ship. If the wire does breaks, Takshak becomes an autonomous torpedo like its ship-launched variant and can travel up to a distance of 40 km for taking out submarines and can operate up to a depth of 400 m. 
Takshak heavyweight torpedoes nearly weighing a tonne each contains 250 kg of explosives can travel at a speed of 40 knots an hour, going in circles and bobbing up and down to attack targets. guidance system enables it to take the optimum path towards the target, and its onboard computer guides its rudder’s navigation towards the target. Takshak has a warhead has a proximity fuse, with the blast occurring about 8 m from the target. 
DRDO also plans to develop Shakti heavyweight torpedoes with thermal propulsion and also working on Advanced light-water torpedoes (ALWTs) likely to be operational by 2016-17 but each Torpedo development programme is extensive ,time-consuming and can take up nearly 10-15 years of development times before they enter production , India needs to invest in infrastructure for testing and development of torpedoes to enable our scientists to fast-track their progress and shorten their developmental circle.

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