India’s Defence Research and Development (DRDO) chairman and Department of Defence R&D secretary G Satheesh Reddy has flagged off the first Varunastra heavy weight torpedo (HWT) production unit.

The torpedo was flagged off during a ceremony conducted at the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) unit in the Indian city of Visakhapatnam.

DRDO said in a tweet: “First Production unit of Heavy Weight Torpedo, (HWT), Varunastra, being produced by BDL Vishakhapatnam for Indian Navy is flagged off on 21 November 2020.

“The HWT is designed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory, DRDO. A major boost to #AtmaNirbharBharat.”

Varunastra is a ship launched, heavyweight, electrically propelled anti-submarine torpedo.

It can be launched from ships that can fire heavy weight torpedoes to engage quiet submarines in deep and shallow waters.

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The Indian Navy inducted the torpedo in 2016.

DRDO’s Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL) has designed and developed Varunastra while BDL manufactured the torpedo for the Indian Navy.

BDL is also the production agency for quick reaction surface-to-air missile (QRSAM) and Astra air-to-air missile system.

Earlier this month, the Indian Navy’s Kora-class guided missile corvette INS Kora (P61) fired an anti-ship missile (AShM) in the Bay of Bengal.

Last month, the Indian Ministry of Defence announced that the DRDO successfully flight tested the anti-submarine warfare system Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART).