Hyderabad: India’s underwater weaponry is set to get more fire power with the Navy deciding to induct indigenously developed heavyweight torpedo ‘Varunastra’ into its arsenal. With this, India will join a group of only eight countries to have the capability to manufacture heavyweight torpedoes. 

The torpedo has been indigenously developed by the Naval Science and Technology Laboratory (NTSL) in Visakhapatnam. 

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad, has signed a contract worth Rs 1,187 crore to manufacture the torpedoes. BDL informed on Thursday that the manufacturing would take place at its Visakhapatnam unit in collaboration with the DRDO. 

A contract for manufacture was signed by N P Diwakar, director (technical), BDL and Nidhi Chhibber, joint secretary and acquisition manager (maritime and systems), Ministry of Defence, in New Delhi on Tuesday. 

“The Varunastra is a ship-launched, electrically-propelled underwater weapon equipped with one of the most advanced automatic and remote-controlled guidance systems,” BDL informed through an official note . 

Varunastra is considered to be 95 per cent indigenous. BDL, which was involved in the production had earlier delivered it to the Indian Navy in 2016 which evaluated it. Subsequently, a decision was taken to order for the production.The torpedo has the capability to hit stealth submarines underwater. It is seven to eight metres long and weighs 1,500 kg and has a diameter of 533 mm. When fired, it can travel at 40 knots or 74 km per hour. The operational range is 40 km and it can carry a warhead weighing 250 kg. India also intends to sell the heavyweight torpedo to friendly nations.