Indigenously developed heavyweight torpedo Varunastra, which was showcased for the first time on the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath this year, was inducted in the Indian Navy. The anti-submarine torpedo has been developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory of the DRDO for the Indian Navy. Weighing around 1.25 tonnes, the torpedo carries about 250 kg of explosives at a speedof around 40 nautical miles an hour. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, handing over the torpedo to the Indian Navy, asked the DRDO to do “hand-holding” for the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) which will be manufacturing the torpedo. India is among a group of elite nations which have the capability.
Having almost 95 per cent indigenous content, Varunastra, costing about Rs 10-12 crore per unit, is capable of targeting quiet and stealthy submarines, both in deep and littoral waters in intense counter-measure environment. Varunastra was also one of the issues that came up for discussion during Parrikar’s recent visit to Vietnam. Parrikar directed the DRDO not to have a hands-off approach now that they have developed the torpedo, and handed over the technology to BDL for production. Parrikar also said that DRDO should also rope in a private company for future projects so that there is a good competition.