Varunastra tests prove torpedo, more soon

By SP's Special Correspondent February 2, 2015

The DRDO's user evaluation trials of the Varunastra heavy weight torpedo (UET-09, UET-10 & UET-11) that were conducted in Nov 2014 went off successfully, but an intended second round of immediate tests was stalled by an unusual development — the loss of one of the development torpedoes at sea. During one of the successful trials, it was found that the test torpedo had plunged down into the sea bed approximately 35 km from the coast of Visakhpatnam. The Indian Navy and DRDO enlisted the services of survey vessel to provide imagery of the sea bed in the area where the torpedo was believed to have gone down. After several days of scouting for the weapon system, the team had nearly given up hope, though the idea of abandoning the lost Varunastra was not considered given that the unit would contain crucial and indispensable performance data that would facilitate the next round of trials. Finally on December 23 last year, more than a month after the torpedo was lost, it was located and then fished out from the sea bed using a wire mesh mechanism that was extremely difficult to carry out. Sources say summer trials of the Varunastra are slated for April 2015, before final confirmatory trials towards the end of the year, before deployment in service and configuration for surface platforms.