Navy to buy anti-submarine bombs for aviation fleet

Navy to buy anti-submarine bombs for aviation fleet

The Defence Ministry has issued a request to original equipment manufacturers and vendors for information on such bombs, which could be USED by Navy's fixed-wing aircraft.

"The Defence Ministry intends to procure air-dropped underwater bombs for fixed wing aircraft (in service), to be used as an urgent attack weapon against submarines," a Navy officer said here.

"The bomb should be capable of being dropped from an aircraft for engaging a submarine in deep waters as well as those on surface and periscope depths," he said.

"We also are looking for bombs that could be launched from rotary wing (helicopters) platform too," he said.

The Navy is searching for bombs that are effective in sinking submarines in tropical conditions that prevail in the Indian Ocean region in depths up to 1,000 metres. "The bombs should have sufficient high explosive to destroy target submarine at proximity distance. The conventional warheads' shelf-life should be about 30 years," the officer said.

Apart from the bombs for war-time deployment, the Navy will buy its practice version too, but it will be an operational bomb in all respects except the warhead, which would be replaced by inert material.

"We require the practice version to validate and train the air crew in bomb drop procedures. These versions will be reusable," he said. If the Navy decides to go in for a global tender for the deal, then the contract would entail an offset clause.

Under the clause, the winning contractor should plough back 30 per cent of the deal amount back in Indian industries by either buying or making defence equipment here.

The Navy's aviation wing currently operates Sea Harrier and MiG-29K fighters, Tupolev Tu-142 bomber, Dornier and IL-38 patrol aircraft, apart from Kamov, Sea King, Dhruv ALH, Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.

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