NIOT retrieves lost heavy-weight torpedo

In a first, a heavy-weight torpedo lost by a Naval laboratory during a technology demonstration trial off Visakhapatnam has been retrieved from the sea by the National Institute of Ocean Technology's Deep Sea Technology team, a top NIOT official said on Saturday.

Chennai: In a first, a heavy-weight torpedo lost by a Naval laboratory during a technology demonstration trial off Visakhapatnam has been retrieved from the sea by the National Institute of Ocean Technology's Deep Sea Technology team, a top NIOT official said on Saturday.

The Naval Science and Technological Laboratory under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lost the torpedo "Varunastra" which had "vital" data on November 6 off Visakhapatnam coast and sought NIOT's help in its recovery.

"Our Deep Sea Technology team retrieved the torpedo. Earth Sciences vessel ORV Sagar Nidhi was used for the purpose," Director, Earth Systems Sciences Organisation of the city-based National Institute of Ocean Technology M A Atmanand said.

"Something like this has not happened before. No lost torpedo has been recovered so far," he said.

The team was joined by Naval lab scientists and a Naval Commander at Visakhapatnam Port in the retrieval mission.

"We retrieved this torpedo on December 23 off Visakhapatnam coast," he said adding a deep sea search operation was conducted at a depth of 180 meters using ship-based multi-beam sonar and parametric echo-sounder.

The NIOT team located the torpedo embedded in the seabed vertically at a depth of 168 meters. The team devised a method to release the torpedo from the sea bed and after repeated attempts succeeded in retrieving the torpedo, he said.

The torpedo was brought onboard Sagar Nidhi, he added.  

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