- Feb 16, 2009
Navy eyeing micro-submarine
02 Mar 2009 01:59:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 02 Mar 2009 12:41:20 PM IST
KOCHI: In an effort to strengthen its underwater attack capabilities the Indian Navy is in talks with the Naval Science and Technical Laboratory, Visakhapatnam, to build a micro-submarine for its strategic operations.
The NSTL scientists have put the preliminary design of a vessel on their drawing board. Sources told Express that the micro-submarine will have a carrying capacity of six persons. It will have the endurance of a normal submarine.
“All major navies have a fleet of small submarines. They are used for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. The same boats are also used for special operations like closeto- shore commando strikes,” sources said.
The Indian Navy has asked NSTL scientists to come up with a model similar to the ones used by advanced forces. “A manned microsubmarine has gained strategic relevance in this era of surgical strikes. It won’t leave loud signatures that can be heard by enemy sonar or other monitoring mechanisms,” sources said.
The project will be a totally indigenous effort. The Defence Ministry wants this to be showcased as a public-private initiative. “We will rope in builders or firms that will play a role in fabricating its parts from the beginning. There are a few names like L&T and Tata who have evinced interest in playing a bigger role in the defence industry,” sources said.
The NSTL is expected to finish the design by 2010. The hope is to carry out the first trials by 2015. In another development, the Navy successfully carried out two live trials of super torpedo Varunastra. This torpedo weighs twice as much as the conventional one and has a longer range.
“The two test firings were on target. Varunastra can accurately kill a big ship anywhere in a radius of 10 km. This being a big weapon, one torpedo can effectively take out a potential threat,” sources said adding that the Navy has asked for 100 weapons which will be delivered by the year end.