DRDO’s Varunastra to be ready by 2009 to be inducted in the Indian Navy


The NSTL built lethal torpedo will target ships and has a range of up to 30 km.

VISAKHAPATNAM: ‘Varunastra’ an electric torpedo being developed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), will be ready by 2009.

The torpedo will target ships and will be the first heavyweight to be inducted into the Navy. The 7.6 m, 1,500 kg torpedo will be more lethal and has a range of up to 30 km.

A new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) will be fully developed in two years. Once developed, the 1.5 ton AUV will be able to carry a payload of 500 kg.

The vehicle will have an ‘intelligent’ system and will be self-propellant and can also hover at a particular spot but the enemy cannot detect it. Like an unmanned aircraft, it will intercept the target. A Thermal Tarpedo is also indigenously developed at the NSTL.

These are some the new developments explained to a team of reporters on a visit for ‘A day at NSTL’ organised as part of the new public relations policy of the DRDO.

NSTL Director V. Bhujanga Rao and Principal Associate Director S.V. Rangarajan took the team around and explained some of the unique R&D facilities at the laboratory.

The High Speed Towing Tank is a premier research facility for carrying out studies on the hydrodynamic performance of ships, propellers and submerged bodies through model experiments. The cavitation tunnel tests propellers, torpedoes and weapons in simulated underwater conditions.

The tests validate designs and modify them for ships, submarines and torpedoes. The pump jets being made for submarines are manufactured only by the U.S., the U.K. and Russia. “This facility can take care of needs for the next 50 years. New trials will improve efficiency. It is open for one or two other countries too as well,” said Mr. Bhujanga Rao.

The Shock, Noise and Vibration Centre is specially designed to carry out underwater explosions. It is the only one of its kind in the country.

The process called “ruggedisation” will measure the impact of explosion on ships and what kind of damage it could cause. Ships will be equipped with rubber mounds to withstand the shock of the explosion.

The Acoustics Test Centre of the NSTL has an anechoic room with wedges of 1.5 m all around. It’s ‘room within a room’ where the sound level is as low as 25 decibels. It is used to identify where sound comes in equipment and reduce it using a robotic arm.


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