The Indian Navy today commissioned into its fleet an indigenously built torpedo launch and recovery vessel, 'INS Astradharini', an advanced replacement for Astravahini, which was decommissioned on 17 July 2015.
INS Astradharini will be used to carry out technical trials of underwater weapons and systems developed by Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), a naval systems laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The Astradharini, a collaborative effort of NSTL, Shoft Shipyard and IIT Kharagpur, 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 speeds up to 15 Knots. 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. The unique hull form of the ship demonstrates the country's ship design and shipbuilding capabilities.
It is a matter of pride that 95 per cent of the ship's systems are of indigenous design thus demonstrating the Navy's continued adherence to the 'Make in India' philosophy.
It has a complement of two officers and 27 sailors. Astradharini 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 R&D capabilities and will accelerate the development of underwater weapons and systems, says an official release.