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The Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), a premier DRDO lab, has been at the forefront of developing cutting-edge naval technologies for the Indian Navy. After the successful development and induction of the Ship-launched Varunastra heavy-weight torpedo, NSTL has now set its sights on creating a new next-generation submarine-launched torpedo.

The Ship-launched Varunastra torpedo, which has been inducted into the Indian Navy since 2016, has already demonstrated its prowess in over 150 trials. With this achievement, India joined the elite club of eight countries that have developed their heavy-weight torpedoes. However, developing a torpedo for a submarine launch presents its own unique set of challenges, requiring much smaller dimensions to fit within the compact space of a submarine.

To meet these requirements, NSTL has been tirelessly working on the development of a submarine-launched variant of Varunastra, which will have a length of less than 6.3 meters. This compact size is crucial for seamless integration into the confined space of a submarine. Additionally, advancements in electric motor design and battery technology are being explored to ensure that the submarine-launched variant boasts an improved range of over 50 kilometres, surpassing the already impressive 40-kilometre range of the Ship-launched Varunastra.

The submarine-launched torpedo is expected to weigh around 1.5 tons and has a diameter of 533 millimetres, making it a formidable weapon for the Indian Navy’s submarine fleet. Moreover, the new torpedo will feature a larger warhead, further enhancing its lethal capabilities.

People familiar with the matter have informed that NSTL is making significant progress in the development of the submarine-launched torpedo. While the project is still underway, it is estimated that within the next 3-5 years, developmental trials of the new torpedo variant will be completed and ready for deployment on all conventional and nuclear submarines of the Indian Navy.

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