SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Naval Group (DCNS) has offered India its F21 torpedo to be armed with Six Kalvari class submarines being built at the MDL, Mumbai. India in 2016 scrapped plans to acquire 98 Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes from a subsidiary of tainted Italian firm Finmeccanica for its Kalvari class and Arihant class Submarines.
Kalvari class submarines will enter into Indian Navy service with old German supplied SUT torpedo used on HDW Shishumar-class vessels as an interim solution but use of old outdated heavyweight torpedoes in latest submarine will bring its own disadvantages in operational capabilities of the submarines leading to France offering its F21 torpedo which is their version of Black Shark torpedo to India .
German offer of their SeaHake torpedoes for the Indian Navy is not finding much support from Indian Navy due to torpedo failing to meet Indian Navy’s operational requirements in previous trials where Black Shark torpedo had an upper hand and was also configured to be fired from Kalvari class submarines, adaption of SeaHake torpedoes for Kalavari class submarines will not only require changes to be made to the submarine fire control mechanism but it is also likely that operational performance will still not be acceptable to the Indian Navy .
F21 torpedo offered by France not only looks and shares similarities to Italian Black Shark torpedo but also shares electric motor driven by an aluminum silver-oxide (AgO-Al) battery. F21 was supposed to be the French version of the Italian Black Shark torpedo when DCNS, Thales, and WASS came together to develop a derivative based on the Black Shark for the French nuclear submarine program but the joint venture was called off midway and F21 torpedo was instead developed by DCNS, Thales along with German company Atlas Elektronik who has also developed SeaHake torpedoes.
France has offered to supply 20 F21 torpedos on emergency basses within 20 months if the contract is finalized soon, India is also planning to order extra old German supplied SUT torpedo till the new order is executed. India’s Takshak HWT, which is modified Varunastra Heavy Weight torpedo adapted to be fired from a submarine is still under development but may be ready for trials in next few months but it will still take few more years before it can commence production.
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