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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Indian Navy had to float a fresh tender to acquire around 100 heavyweight torpedoes to be armed on the Scorpene-class conventional and Arihant class nuclear submarines after Black Shark torpedoes belonging to the Italian firm WASS which was part of the scam-tainted Finmeccanica group in the AgustaWestland chopper scam that was previously selected was blacklisted by the Indian Ministry of Defence.

Due to the ban on the Italian firm Leonardo, Four Scorpene-class conventional and 2 Arihant classes had to be only armed with tube-launched anti-ship missiles as they still wait for procurement of heavyweight torpedoes, exposing major deficiencies in the combat capabilities of these ships. Scorpene-class submarines were developed with a weapon control system that was tuned for operating Black Shark torpedoes due to which the Navy couldn’t switch to alternative heavyweight torpedoes to address this issue.

Responding to the Indian Navy’s tender issued last year, German Atlas Elektronik company offered its Sea Hake mod4 heavyweight torpedoes and French Naval Group its F-21 Heavy Weight Torpedo to the Indian Navy. idrw.org has been told adaption of new heavyweight torpedoes also requires upgradation of the software and hardware of the weapons control system in each ship that is one of the possible reasons why the Navy waited for a while before it floated tenders for Heavy Weight Torpedo with the lifting of the ban on Leonardo, Navy can procure them directly under emergency basics while it can also work on alternatives.

India is working on a submarine-launched heavyweight torpedo program based on the experience it had gained while developing the Ship-launched Indigenous Varunastra heavyweight torpedo but the technology required for converting an over-surface-launched (ship-based ) torpedo into an undersea-launched (submarine-based ) torpedo requires considerable changes both internally and externally. Varunastra is bigger and longer when compared to Black Shark or F-21 in dimensions and can’t be adapted for submarine operations until it’s completely redesigned into a much more compact system as informed to idrw.org. Each heavyweight torpedoes program world over requires 8-10 years of sustained investment and development efforts before it matures, India will get there but it will take time said informed sources close to idrw.org.

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