Monday, May 23, 2011

UPDATED: Indian Torpedoes Near Ready

Rare photos of the 2009-2010 development sea trials of (from top) India's two principal underwater weapon development programmes -- the Torpedo-Advanced Light (TAL) and the Varunastra heavyweight high speed torpedo, developed by the Naval Science & Tech Laboratory (NSTL) in Visakhapatnam. After several stops and starts, the Varunastra is to enter its user trial phase with the Indian Navy this year, while Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), India's principal state-owned missile manufacturer, will begin delivering the first of 25 TALs to the Navy shortly.

Little is known about either programme, mostly because that's the way the government has wanted it. Scant bits of literature (sometimes inadvertent) suggests that technologies involves in both or either of the torpedo programmes include sea water actuated / silver zinc propulsion packages, contra-rotating motor and propellers, proximity sensors, HE warheads, composite material construction, stepless speed control, fibre optic guidance, floating recorder and transmitter (FRAT), noise cancellation techniques and low noise FRP propellers.

[UPDATE @ 2.29AM / MAY 24] Will the DRDO never learn? It appears that some of the photos used by the DRDO in its official brochure (PDF here) to represent its underwater weapons programmes, have actually been lifted from foreign vendors' brochures. Prasun K Sengupta has pointed in the comments section of this post, to links to the original images in the case of the Varunastra and Thermal Torpedo that appear in the DRDO brochure -- the Varunastra and Thermal Torpedo captioned in the brochure are actually torpedoes manufactured by Saab. No clarity on the TAL, though. Will ask DRDO for some clarity tomorrow. DRDO's goofed plenty before with this sort of thing, so will check.

17 comments :

Anonymous said...

the vessel in the 2nd pic doesn't seem to be indian...????

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the user trials, but I have not seen a single TAL or Varunastra torpedo do a full run in test firings..

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

These two visuals appear to be those of the Finmeccanica-built A244L Whitehead, judging by the type of B717 triple-torpedo tube launcher shown. The Varunastra is 7.6 metres long, weighs 1,500kg and has a range of up to 30km. Almost a decade ago there was a CAG report detailing the DRDO's R & D woes regarding the TAL. Brochures of both the Varunastra and TAL were available from the DRDO during DEFEXPO 2008.

.

Mr. Ra said...

Karachi needs them today.

Shiv Aroor said...

Both images from a DRDO brochure that captions them as TAL and Varunastra. Will post that shortly.

Shiv Aroor said...

Have uploaded the brochure. Lots of interesting stuff:

http://scr.bi/kdt9Pi

Anonymous said...

The second picture looks like a torpedo launched from a Swedish misselboat Spica II class.(Now retired)

http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:HMS_V%C3%A4stervik_T136-T136.JPG



The where also exported to Denmark and Malyaisa (Handalan-class).

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

To Anon@12.34AM: You're spot on. The Oerlikon turret on the Spica-Ms is quite distinctive. But the DRDO and defence PSUs are well-known for using such photos. The
brochure of HAL's Kowra Division (producing avionics), for instance, shows the cockpit of the JAS-39C Gripen on its front page.

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

The original photos of the Varunastra Heavyweight Torpedo and the thermal torpedo can be seen on photos 2 & 3 at:
http://www2.saabgroup.com/en/ProductsServices/products_az.htm?url=http%3A//products.saabgroup.com/PDBWebNew/Generic.aspx%3FEntrance%3DProduct%26ProductCategoryId%3D270%26ProductGroupId%3D337%26ProductId%3D653

Prasun K. Sengupta said...

And the low-frequency dunking sonar (Mihir?) shown on page 5 of the DRDO brochure is in fact THALES' FLASH dipping sonar (http://www.thalesgroup.com/Portfolio/Defence/naval_product_flash/?pid=9177)

Anonymous said...

anonymous@12.34
it doesnt look like spica class since the guns are closer to the bow here than the spica class. The camouflage appears like those of the swedish though.

Anonymous said...

@prasun
you caught it. That was indeed a bulls eye.

if they donot want to release the pictures that is fine...why are they stealing some one elses pics.

Anonymous said...

It kan also be the Stockholmlasscorvette who is an upscalde Spica II.

Anonymous said...

ummm....so for how long has these two been UNDER DEVOLOPMENT..and when r these two going to get inducted...would be appricited if answered by some one

Anonymous said...

This proves that we are not detail oriented. Our PR skills are FUBAR. This whole "chalta hai" attitude that has infected our culture is extremely difficult to get rid of. We spend so much time and money in developing a product but when it comes to making a brochure we cut corners. The problems is that we do not even think twice before taking a picture from something else and presenting it as our own (or not clearly stating that this is borrowed stuff). This means that either we do not know that such actions are unethical (probably illegal also) or we just do not give a shit. Either way, the fault lies with DRDO. I think they are in a serious need for training, and if they still cannot get it right, some clown should lose their job over it. In order to be world class, we must become world class in every-way. I know Cut and Paste functions are bit too easy to ignore, but easy way is not always the correct way. Mistakes do happen, but here the same mistake has been repeated over and over again. This is just wrong.

joydeep ghosh said...

@prasun

good to see that you have have correctly pointed out mistakes in the blog.

By the way are you aware of the 'Kawach' rockets of the Indian Navy, any news on that.

The question is same to Shiv Aroor

Regards

Joydeep Ghosh

Anonymous said...

There is a video on youtube "DRDO video presented by Dr.Y.Srinivasa Rao" shows Varunastra fired from INS Ranvijay (D55), a rajput class destroyer