Varunastra (torpedo)

The Varunastra is an Indian advanced heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo, developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Navy. It is named after a legendary weapon created by the Hindu god of the oceans, Varuna.

TypeHeavy torpedo
Place of originIndia
Service history
In service29 June 2016[1]
Used byIndian Navy
Production history
DesignerNaval Science and Technological Laboratory, DRDO
ManufacturerBharat Dynamics Limited
Unit cost10 crore (US$1.3 million) - 12 crore (US$1.5 million)[2]
No. builtUnknown
Mass1,500 kg (3,300 lb)
Length7.78 m (25.5 ft)
Diameter533.4 mm (21.00 in)

WarheadHigh explosive
Warhead weight250 kg (550 lb)[3]

Silver Oxide Zinc (AgOZn) batteries
40 km (25 mi)[4]
Maximum depth600 metres (2,000 ft)[3]
Maximum speed 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph)[3]
Wire-guided, active-passive acoustic homing. Augmented by GPS/NavIC satellite guidance.[5]

The ship launched variant of Varunastra torpedo was formally inducted in the Indian navy by defence minister Manohar Parrikar and security designed by security adviser satyam kumar on 26 June 2016.[1][7] The minister in his speech said that the Government is in favour of exporting the torpedo to friendly nations including Vietnam.[8][9] With some minor modifications the submarine variant of the torpedo is to be test fired shortly.[10]


This torpedo is powered by an electric propulsion system with multiple 250 KWs silver oxide zinc (AgOZn) batteries.[11] It can achieve speeds in excess of 40 kn (74 km/h; 46 mph), weighs around 1.5 tonnes and can carry 250 kg (550 lb) of conventional warhead. This torpedo has more than 95 per cent indigenous content. Varunastra has conformal array transducer which enables it look at wider angles than most common torpedoes. It also has an advanced autonomous guidance algorithms with low drift navigational aids, insensitive warhead which can operate in various combat scenarios. It is the only torpedo in the world to have a GPS-based locating aid.[2][12] The exercise variant of Varunastra has integrated instrumentation system for recording all the dynamic parameters of the weapon, redundancy in recovery aids in case of emergency shut down or malfunction.[2]


Varunastra will be manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited in association with NSTL.[12] In April 2018, Bharat Dynamics Limited obtained a license to manufacture Varunastra from the DRDO.[13] In June 2019, Ministry of Defence awarded a contract worth 1,187 crore (US$150 million) to Bharat Dynamics Limited to supply Varunastra to the Indian Navy.[14]

Further developmentEdit

During Aero India 2017, it was reported that DRDO has begun work on developing a Kilo-class submarine launched version of the torpedo.[6][15]


Admiral Sunil Lanba and Manohar Parrikar taking a close look at the Varunastra, during its handing off ceremony to the Indian Navy

Possible operatorsEdit

  •   Vietnam - In 2016 India offered to export versions of the Varunastra to Vietnam.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Weapon of Water: India gets its first indigenous torpedo, Varunastra". NewsX. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Varunastra joins the Navy; 9 things you must know". Rediff News. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b c T. S. Subramanian (23 March 2014). "Underwater might". Frontline. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Indian Navy commissions fourth and final Kamorta-class corvette". Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Varunastra joins the Navy; 9 things you must know". Rediff. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b Purohit, Jugal R (15 February 2017). "India to fire self-made torpedo VARUNASTRA from our submarines, says DRDO". India Today.
  7. ^ a b "Anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra inducted in Navy". The Indian Express. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  8. ^ "India joins elite group of eight with anti-submarine Varunastra in arsenal". The New Indian Express. 30 June 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Eye on China, Delhi offers heavy torpedoes to Vietnam". The Times of India. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Indian Navy inducts indigenous heavyweight torpedo Varunastra". India Today. IANS. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Indian Navy's most powerful ships rely on DRDO technology". Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  12. ^ a b Jain, Smriti (30 June 2016). "Varunastra: 5 things to know about the lethal DRDO torpedo for Indian Navy". The Financial Express. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  13. ^ "BDL to make 'Varunastra'". The Hindu. 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ Rao, Sushil (14 June 2019). "India set to join heavyweight torpedo club". The Times of India.
  15. ^ "India To Test Fire Home-Made Torpedo From Russian EKM Class Submarine". Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Hon'ble RM hands over Varunastra to Indian Navy". Indian Navy. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  17. ^ Ziezulewicz, Geoff (30 June 2016). "Varunastra missile handed over to Indian navy". UPI.
  18. ^ Bedi, Rahul (4 July 2016). "Indian Navy inducts indigenous Varunastra heavyweight torpedo". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Indian Navy to soon get first batch of indigenously-built torpedo Varunastra". DNA India. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2020.