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The Indian Navy is preparing to launch a global tender for the acquisition of 48 heavyweight torpedoes, aiming to finally equip its Kalvari-class submarines with this crucial weapon system. This comes after two previous attempts at procuring these torpedoes were cancelled due to various issues.

The Kalvari-class submarines, built with French advanced technology, were initially configured to use Italian Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes. However, the deal fell through due to the VVIP chopper scam involving the parent company of the Italian manufacturer. Subsequently, France offered its own F21 torpedoes, but this proposal also did not materialize. This left the Kalvari submarines reliant on older Russian heavyweight torpedoes, hindering their full operational potential.

With the recent removal of the ban on Italian firm Whitehead Sistemi Subacquei (WASS), the manufacturer of the Black Shark torpedoes, the Indian Navy has more options on the table. However, the Navy has chosen to remain open to all possibilities by launching a global tender.

While the global tender is underway, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also working on its heavyweight torpedo, aiming for production by 2027. This indigenous solution could potentially meet future needs and reduce dependence on imports.

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