India to Develop Kyrgyz Torpedo Testing Facility
Monday 19 September 2011
NEW DELHI (Indian Defence) – In a bid to strengthen its underwater attack capabilities, India is planning to develop an existing facility in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan which will produce state-of-the-art torpedoes.
- For fifty years, Dastan Joint Stock Co. in Kyrgyzstan has developed a whole array of Soviet torpedo weaponry and dozens of different types of navigation systems, explosives, tele-guidance systems and non-standard control and measurement equipment for them. These systems have dominated the world weapon’s market for decades, offering parity with potential adversaries.
The existing facility of the Torpedo Testing Centre, located at Issyk Kul lake in the Karakul province, 250 km away from the capital Bishkek, is considered one of the best locations to launch and recover torpedoes fired during test trials.
“The facility was visited by defence minister AK Antony a few months ago. An Indian delegation would be visiting Kyrgyzstan soon to make an assessment of investment needed for the project and the terms and conditions for co-developing it,” DRDO chief controller W Selvamurthy said.
To develop existing infrastructure at the centre, India has proposed to engage local companies with available know how in torpedo technology to co-develop the facility.
“India is willing to develop the centre to test all kinds of torpedoes such as heavy weight torpedoes and those having thermal navigation system,” Selvamurthy said.
The centre has constructed a network of sensors which can monitor the speed, velocity, homing in and direction of the torpedo once it is fired. This enables scientists to make necessary modifications in the navigation system to make the missiles more accurate and fool-proof.
India is also planning to use the facility to test the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Developed by Naval Scientific and Technological Laboratory (NSTL).
Developed during the Soviet era, the facility was used by the Russian military as a testing site for torpedo propulsion and guidance systems, and Karakol was home to a sizable population of military personnel and their families.