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India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has recently approved the procurement of heavyweight torpedoes, marking a significant step towards enhancing the attacking capabilities of its Kalvari-class submarines. This move comes after the cancellation of a previous contract with Italian firm Whitehead Alenia Systemi Subacquei (WASS) due to concerns surrounding alleged bribery practices.

The new acquisition, details of which are yet to be disclosed, aims to equip Kalvari-class submarines with advanced weaponry, bolstering their underwater strike potential. This upgrade is crucial in light of India’s growing maritime ambitions and the need to counter evolving threats in the region.

The decision to procure new torpedoes follows the cancellation of a 2016 contract with WASS for the supply of Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes. The deal, valued at approximately $200 million, was scrapped after allegations of bribery against AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of WASS’s parent company Finmeccanica, surfaced in connection with a separate helicopter procurement contract with India.

This incident led to the blacklisting of Finmeccanica, effectively barring WASS from participating in Indian defense deals. The blacklisting has since been lifted, but the Indian government opted to explore alternative options for its torpedo acquisition.

The current procurement process reportedly emphasizes the involvement of Indian defense companies. This aligns with India’s “Make in India” initiative, which aims to boost domestic defense production and reduce reliance on foreign imports.

While specific details regarding the chosen manufacturer and the type of torpedoes remain undisclosed, the focus on domestic participation suggests India’s intent to develop its indigenous capabilities in this critical area.

The acquisition of heavyweight torpedoes signifies India’s commitment to strengthening its underwater deterrence capabilities. Kalvari-class submarines, equipped with these advanced weapons, will be able to engage targets at greater ranges and with increased precision, enhancing their overall effectiveness in safeguarding India’s maritime interests.