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Indian Navy inducts indigenous heavyweight torpedo 'Varunastra'

By The Assam Tribune

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS): 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 on Wednesday.

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 speed of around 40 nautical miles an hour.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, handing over the torpedo to the Indian Navy, asked the DRDO to do "hand-holding" for Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) which will be manufacturing the torpedo. India is among a group of elite nations which have the capability.

The Defence Minister pointed out that the heavyweight torpedo is being inducted in the navy a day before the first squadron of indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is to be inducted by the Indian Air Force.

The minister added that the government is looking forward to exporting the torpedo, and that he has already had a chat with navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on this.

"I will also tell them their job is not over... They should ensure the product is of best international standards because not just Navy (will use them), we can export them. I have got a verbal clearance from navy chief too... He said there is no technological problem," Parrikar said, adding that the official procedures will be followed and stressed on quality control.

Project Director for Varunastra Torpedo P. Trimurthulu termed it a huge success for the team which had been working on the project for the past decade.

"For last 10 years, we have been working 20 hours a day. This is a big success for us," Trimurthulu told IANS.

"Handing over a weapon to the nation is a great achievement," he said.

The project director added that the torpedo, which has already been test-fired from ships, will soon be fired from a submarine.

"We will soon be test-firing the torpedo from a submarine. Some minor modifications will be needed for that," he said.

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba stressed on the need to tighten the time frame for completing projects.

"We need to move towards more reasonable time-frames for completing projects," Admiral Lanba said.

He added that the Indian Navy and DRDO have identified 93 "high-end technology" projects to be jointly taken up.

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