Visakhapatnam, Oct 6 (IANS) The Indian Navy on Tuesday commissioned the indigenous torpedo launch and recovery vessel INS Astradharini to carry out technical trials of underwater weapons systems.
The vessel is a replacement of INS Astravahini, another indigenously built torpedo launch and recovery vessel (TLRV) which was decommissioned recently after almost 31 years in service.
On the occasion, Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command said the induction adds thrust to India’s ongoing endeavours at indigenisation and achieving the nation’s goal of self-reliance in underwater weapons development.
INS Astradharini will be used to carry out technical trials of underwater weapons and systems developed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), a naval systems laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), officials said.
It is an advanced replacement for Astravahini which was decommissioned on July 17.
The design of Astradharini was a collaborative effort of NSTL, M/s Shoft Shipyard and IIT Kharagpur and has a unique design of a catamaran hull form that significantly reduces its power requirement and is built with indigenous steel.
Having a length of 50 metres, the vessel is capable of doing speeds up to 15 knots per hour.
“It can operate at high sea states and has a large deck area with torpedo launchers for deploying and recovering various kinds of torpedos during the trials. The ship also has modern power generation and distribution, navigation and communication systems,” an official statement said.
“The unique hull form of the ship demonstrates the country’s ship design and shipbuilding capabilities. It is a matter of pride that 95 percent of the ship’s systems are of indigenous design thus demonstrating the navy’s continued adherence to the ‘Make in India’ philosophy,” it said.
With two officers and 27 sailors, the vessel can accommodate 13 DRDO scientists and has the capacity to undertake multiple trials during a single sortie.
“The commissioning of INS Astradharini will add a powerful punch to the DRDO’s research and development capabilities and will accelerate the development of underwater weapons and systems,” the statement said.
The commissioning comes within days of the Indian Navy commissioning its latest Kolkata class stealth destroyer INS Kochi.