India will fire self-made torpedo VARUNASTRA from our submarines, the Defence Research and Development Organisation said today on the second day of the 11th edition of Aero India event.
DRDO Director General Dr S Christopher, Commodore CD Balaji (Retd), Director of Aeronautical Development Agency (AGA) and top scientific brass of the country were present on the occasion but Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, could not make it to the event till the very end.
Replying to a question on AGNI programme and interceptor missiles, Dr Christopher said that the topics considered ‘strategic’ were off the table.
HERE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TAKEAWAYS
VARUNASTRA TORPEDO FROM SINDHUGHOSH SUBMARINES: The ship-launched anti-submarine torpedo called Varunastra has been accepted and will be going into production phase. SONAR development has been done in house. More ships have our own SONAR on them now. Development of submarine-launched torpedo/Varunastra on the Russian EKM class of submarines has also begun. We have begun work on the anti-ship and anti-radiation missile.
INDIA IN MTCR: Immediate impact of India’s entry into MTCR has been seen on BrahMos missile. It will be extended to reach 450 km from the earlier limit of 290 km. We will begin working on the second, upgraded version of the missile, which can reach upto 800 kms. This work, however, will take two-and-a-half years. On March 10, we will test the 450-km long BrahMos. We are being asked to chair a UN body to design weaponised UAVs. This body and its work will help a great deal in shaping policies over this subject, which has been unregulated.
NIRBHAY CRUISE MISSILE CONTROVERSIES: Nirbhay cruise missile you will appreciate is a new area of work for us. Subsonic cruise missiles travel beyond 2000 km and they fly very low. However, to achieve that, there are many technological challenges. A subsonic long-range system is a stressful project. For this missile, we have had one successful and three unsuccessful flights. The unsuccessful flights were terminated by us. It isn’t as if they strayed and caused damage. Our defect investigation committee is looking into it. After incorporating improvements, by May-June this year, we are planning the next flight. In the long run, we want a family of subsonic cruise missiles.
EXPORT TO VIETNAM: Export of the AKASH Next Generation Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) is being discussed with Vietnam. HELINA and NAG missiles are also being considered for export.
LCA TEJAS FOR NAVY NOT AXED: LCA NAVY is proceeding and the government is supporting it. The Navy chief statement concerns Mark 1 of LCA and it was a technology demonstrator. We will use lessons learnt into Mark 2 which will have better engines. The government has told us to prepare for a catapult-launched carrier and STOBAR. We don’t intend on a folding wing. Mark 2 will have a wingspan of 8.9 and a single engine i.e GE F414 engine, which will power it.
ARJUN MKII VERSION: Modifications are done and we are ready to offer it to the Army for trials. Issues pertaining to missile firing are yet to be resolved. There were, in all, 73 modifications that were asked of us. Most of these modifications were addressed and incorporated. Rocket-firing exercise was carried out with an Israeli missile, but did not get short-distance targets. In the meantime, we made our own missile and series of tests are due in June.
NEXT PHASE OF AEW & C PROJECT: For the next set of Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW & C) aircraft, we are negotiating with Airbus 330 as the platform.
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(Source : indiatoday.intoday.in)