top of page
  • Writer's pictureNikhil Gangamkote


Varunastra, the heavyweight torpedo was inducted in 2016 and can be launched from any Anti-Submarine Warfare {ASW} vessel, even when facing intense countermeasures. This indigenously-developed missile is a gamechanger.

Earlier today, a significant achievement was reached by the Indian Navy and the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

In a remarkable feat, the domestically produced heavyweight torpedo, named Varunastra after the legendary weapon of the Hindu god Varuna, effectively struck a submerged target off the western coast.

This successful engagement of the underwater target signifies a crucial advancement in the Indian Navy's and DRDO's mission to precisely deploy munitions in the challenging underwater environment.

In a short eight-second video released by the Navy, the Varunastra torpedo is showcased demolishing a submerged pontoon in the sea.

The impact of the torpedo creates powerful shockwaves that ripple through the water, resulting in a surge of destruction.

The Navy spokesperson highlighted the Indian Navy's commitment to achieving Future Proof Combat Readiness through self-reliance, which was significantly reinforced by the successful utilization of Varunastra.

Inducted in 2016, this heavyweight torpedo can be launched from any Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) vessel, even under intense countermeasures.

The Varunastra is expected to replace the current American Mark 46 torpedoes in the Indian Navy's arsenal.

The Varunastra is a wire-guided, active-passive acoustic homing torpedo, boasting an impressive range of up to 40 kilometers. Capable of operating at depths of up to 600 meters, it carries a formidable 250-kilogram warhead.

This versatile torpedo is designed for launch from surface ships, submarines, and aircraft.

What is a torpedo?

A torpedo is an autonomous underwater missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, or aircraft to destroy enemy vessels or submarines. Typically, torpedoes feature a slender, cylindrical shape with a pointed nose and a tail fin.

They can be powered by electric motors or compressed air, and their warheads can vary, encompassing high explosives, nuclear weapons, or mines.

Torpedoes have played a significant role in warfare since the early 19th century, particularly during both World Wars. Today, they remain a crucial weapon in the naval arsenals of numerous countries worldwide.

What is a heavyweight torpedo?

A heavyweight torpedo is primarily employed to target surface ships and submarines, while lightweight torpedoes are generally utilized against smaller objectives like boats and mines.

Heavyweight torpedoes typically utilize electric motors or gas turbines as propulsion systems, enabling them to reach speeds of up to 50 knots.

With a range spanning several miles, they can carry a variety of warheads, including high-explosive, nuclear, and anti-submarine payloads.

Notable examples of heavyweight torpedoes include the Mark 48 torpedo, Varunastra, and the F-21 torpedo.

Advantages of a heavyweight torpedo:

Longer range compared to lightweight variants.

Capable of carrying larger warheads.

Increased power and effectiveness against larger targets.

Disadvantages of a heavyweight torpedo:

Higher cost compared to lightweight torpedoes.

Greater complexity in maintenance and operation.

Challenges in transportation and deployment due to their weight.

Varunastra's specifications:

Developed by DRDO's Naval Science and Technological Laboratory in Visakhapatnam, Varunastra is an indigenous heavyweight torpedo. This electrically-powered anti-submarine device possesses the capability to engage submarines in both shallow and deep waters.

Varunastra measures 7.780 meters in length.

It has a diameter of 533.4 mm.

Maximum speed reaches 74 kilometers per hour.

Weight ranges from 1605 kg (exercise version) to 1850 ± 10 kg (combat version).

Varunastra exhibits a long range and exhibits versatile maneuverability.

It incorporates acoustic homing with a wide look angle, enabling the tracking

30 views0 comments


bottom of page