German naval defence firm eyes India's growing market

German naval defence firm eyes India's growing market

A leading German naval defence firm is eying India's booming market with its latest weapons, equipment and combat systems at a time when the Indian Navy is looking to shore up its resources.

Atlas Elektronik, which opened its Indian subsidiary this year to target the the country's growing defence market, showcased its latest torpedo, SeaHake mod4 ER, as among the fastest and most effective heavy weapons which could be used by the navy to boost its firepower.

It has a proven speed of well in excess of 50 knots and a range of 140 km and is also the safest, Atlas Electronic India CEO Khalil Rahman said.

He said technology is much safer than the high-test- peroxide (HTP) oxygenized propellant and thermodynamically driven Russian anti-surface torpedoes in the Kilo class submarines, which are used by India, and the safety advantages with their torpedoes are tremendous.

"Its safe electrical propulsion system not only offers tactically equivalent speed in comparison to the dangerous thermodynamically driven torpedoes but also markedly superior range, all while generating far less noise," he said.

The company had supplied SUT torpedoes for Indian Navy's four Shishumar Class submarines in 1980s which it has been now contracted for lifetime extension.

Navy is hunting for heavy torpedoes and though it had reportedly come close to choosing Black Shark, which is made by Italian company WASS, for French submarine Scorpene, it has not taken any decision yet. Atlas had also competed for the deal.

Atlas Elektronik is the only company, it claims, which owns intellectual rights over all components of torpedo manufacturing.

"The inherent stealth and quietness of the electrically propelled torpedo also offers obvious tactical advantages over the loud thermodynamically propelled torpedoes," he said.

Another equipment which the company is keen on selling to India is ASW (anti-submarine warfare) sonars.

Most Indian warships are equipped with hull-mounted sonars but these have a limited range, Rahman said, stressing that a towed array sonar is towed several hundred metres behind the ship and is therefore less affected by interference from the ship itself.

"Therefore it is able to dramatically increase the range at which a torpedo or a submarine can be detected, increasing the chances of being able to react in time," he said.

The firm is close to signing a deal with India for the supply of low frequency sonar systems for its warships, enabling them to detect enemy submarines, warships and torpedoes from a long range.

The Active Towed Away Sonars (ACTAS) are intended to be mounted on six warships.
The company is also keen on selling submarine systems, mine counter measures and combat systems.

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