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India-Kazakhastan developing Thermal Torpedoes

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posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 06:29 AM

By Roger McDermott

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Kazakhstan is set to boost its military exports markedly during 2006, as it seeks to expand its access to international arms markets and further strengthen its defense industry. This concerted drive towards enhancing Kazakhstan's role as an arms exporter will put a priority on several special products.

On February 10 Galym Orazbakov, president of the state-owned company Kazakhstan Engineering, explained in Astana, "We expect the export of the company's special products to double in 2006," compared to its record in 2005. The key focus of this will be exports to the Indo-Pacific region. "Recently, we held talks with our partners in India and Egypt who are planning to hold tenders for the purchase of arms. The company is planning to take part in these," he added. Although the law on state secrets strictly limits reporting on these issues in Kazakhstan, minimizing transparency in the conduct of the arms industry, Orazbakov indicated that these special products would include depth charges and torpedoes (Interfax, February 10).

Orazbakov's confidence in Kazakhstan Engineering, set up spring 2003 to consolidate 21 mostly machine-building companies, is rooted in the level of demand from the Indo-Pacific region and the number of contracts currently secured with these countries. It also reflects Kazakhstan's intensive diplomacy with these trading partners as well as the positive evaluation placed on the Kazakh products. The export of special products, including torpedoes and depth charges, rose in 2004 by 4%. Orazbakov said, "Historically, we have been carrying out a number of joint projects with India aimed at modernizing and repairing the torpedoes belonging to the Indian Navy. Also, we are designing a new torpedo called Kazy."

However, Orazbakov has identified domestic targets for his next ventures throughout this year, as he looks to capitalize on the trend towards the authorities spending slightly more on defense products for its armed forces and security agencies. Domestic sales of goods have risen by 5.6% compared with 2004, based on the increased demands from President Nursultan Nazarbayev's military reform program. Yet the main features of this domestic rise relate to the Zenit joint stock company producing Sunkar-M military cutters, and the aircraft repair plant No. 405, which repairs military helicopters.

Also on February 10 Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev held meetings with U.S. ambassador John Ordway, Russian ambassador Vladimir Babichev, and Indian ambassador Ashok Mukherjee in Astana. Predictably the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported that Tokayev had "discussed expanding bilateral contacts in various areas of cooperation and looked at a wide range of international and regional issues of mutual interest." Yet, Mukherjee presented Tokayev with an invitation to come to India on an official visit this year, signaling greater interest in Delhi for forging stronger links with Kazakhstan and increasing Indian interest in Central Asia (Interfax, February 10).

It is clear that the Indian dimension is central to the hopes for greater sales output from Kazakhstan's defense industries. Indeed a Kazakh delegation recently participated in an international exhibition of land and naval weapons, Defexpo India 2006, in Delhi. Consequently, the Indian government expressed interest in holding talks on procuring torpedoes and mines for the Indian Navy. "The major result for Kazakhstan, which took part in such an exhibition for the first time, is that the Indian Ministry of Defense has expressed an interest in cooperation with our defense companies. In the future, talks can be conducted on selling Kazakh torpedoes and naval mines to India," a spokesman for the Indian Ministry of Defense confirmed (Khabar TV, February 6).

The Indian Navy is currently equipped with hundreds of torpedoes that were produced in Kazakhstan during the Soviet era. Kazakhstan's specialists in this field are clearly hoping to foster their own niche within the naval arms market. Sources within the Indian firm Larsen and Toubro believe that production of such arms could shift to plants in India, with Kazakh expertise and supervision.


An old article...

Kazakhstan Offers Improved Torpedoes to Indian Navy
New Delhi
Sunday, February 24, 2002
Report by Tushar Srivastava

Kirov Mashzavod JSC, Kazakhstan's state-owned thermal torpedo manufacturer, has offered upgradation and modernization facilities for all thermal torpedoes in stock with the Indian Navy. This upgradation will be made to the level of the microprocessor-based new generation torpedoes at just 20-25 per cent of the cost of buying new torpedoes.

In an exclusive interview with The Asian Age, Kirov designer-in-chief Valentin Nadtochy, a member of the Kazakhstan delegation to India for the Defexpo 2002, said an official proposal has been sent to the Indian defense ministry.

He said the life of the old torpedoes after upgradation will be extended by an additional 30 years and make them more effective and reliable in operation.

Russia has been the main supplier of thermal torpedoes to India. The Russians, in turn, buy the thermal torpedoes from Kazakhstan. Kirov is the only manufacturer of thermal torpedoes among the CIS countries and the whole of Asia. This is the first instance of direct military contact between India and Kazakhstan.

Mr. Nadtochy said his country could assist India in jointly carrying out the upgradation and modernization of different types of torpedoes and equipment supplied by other countries as well.

"The standard life of the Torpedo 53-65 KE is 20 years, before which a statutory overhaul is essential for extending its life," he said, adding, "even if the torpedoes have crossed 10 years of their life, where after the efficiency and reliability begins to decline, it is desirable to upgrade to modern efficiency levels while simultaneously extending the life of the torpedo by an additional 30 years".

The scheme to upgrade the Torpedo 53-65 KE, under the inscription 53-65 KME, to enhance its effectiveness and reliability includes: improvement of control systems for a more stable and accurate motion of heel, giving the opportunity for new multiple uses, increasing the engine horse power from 400 to 440, giving options for better speed, distance and explosive charge, improved efficiency and reliability of operation of the homing equipment, and improved efficiency and reliability of the non-contact influence exploder apparatus.

In addition, Kazakhstan is also offering the latest generation universal thermal torpedo UTT 2000, also known as the Pelikan. They claim this is priced much less than the thermal torpedoes manufactured by any of the European countries and America, They are one-third the price of the Russian-Manufactured electric torpedoes and one-fifth the price of the electric torpedoes manufactured by the US.

For anti-ship, anti-submarine and universal thermal torpedoes, Kirov Mashzavod has the technology to achieve the highest effective operating parameters of speed up to 70 knots, range up to 50 knots and depth up to 600 meters, with options of different types of engines, fuels and propulsion systems.

Kazakhstan has also offered help in the development of tactics for Optimum Combat Exploitation of modernized and new torpedoes, including mathematical modeling aspects thereof and special training models, packages and aids, including emulators and simulators.

Lines from another article appearing in The Hindu,

NSTL also developed a thermal torpedo, which was in final stages of test trials. When completed, India would be the fourth country to have thermal torpedoes after the U.S, erstwhile USSR and Sweden, he said.

Thermal torpedo runs on monopropellant fuel which can burn without oxygen and so is useful in underwater operations. The Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed the fuel which is being manufactured by a private factory at Lalithpur. NSTL started Thermal Torpedo Test Centre in 1996 which took nearly seven years to develop the engine and fuel. The monopropellant fuel can generate 400 kilowatt of power and enable the torpedo move at faster speed and at greater depths. The torpedo can go up to 600 metres depth. It can move at double the speed of electrically operated torpedo, he said.

After completing laboratory tests here, the thermal torpedo is being tested in Nagarjuna Sagar in the next couple of days. It will then be put to test in the sea to study its performance and make any modifications, if necessary, before handing it over to the Navy, he said.


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