WASS Launches Subsidiary In India For Underwater Systems
Nov 8, 2010
| By Neelam Mathews |
| Finmeccanica is launching a subsidiary to cater to the Indian Navy’s blue-water desires.|
The company’s Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS) subsidiary has launched its own, first-ever subsidiary, WIN (WASS India), to offer service support, monitoring of the supply chain and to enter into industrial partnerships.
“The Indian defense market is growing and we foresee only indigenous tenders in the future. We, therefore, found the need to have an Indian company,” says WIN Director Giuliano Enea. “We have identified technologies that are available in India that we need to exploit for WASS.”
The company is looking at joint ventures for various domains it works with and is in talks with numerous companies, including Larsen & Toubro.
Still, the cost of investment cannot be recovered only within India, so the company is looking to leverage a geographical advantage for sales to the Middle East and Far East. “We hope to make India the primary source,” says Enea.
WASS has a long association with the Indian military through supply of lightweight torpedoes and submarine-fired decoys. The company received a contract this year from the Indian Navy for upgrades and life extension of 128 A244-S lightweight torpedo systems to Mod 3, explains Enea.
WASS is offering the heavyweight Black Shark torpedo, which has already been successfully integrated on board other subs, in India with different types of combat systems. It features the new Astra acoustic head and a long-endurance, silent-electric propulsion system. “Black Shark, for us, is our main product,” Enea says.
WASS has been partnering with Bharat Dynamics Ltd. for production of the C303, an anti-torpedo countermeasures system since 2005 that is already half indigenized to Indian industry. Next will be for the Scorpene submarines given to BDL by the defense ministry, which WIN says will be 70% indigenized.
The C303 is an anti-torpedo countermeasures system designed to counter attacks of acoustic homing torpedoes – active/passive, lightweight and heavyweight, wire and non-wire-guided – through the use of expendable, low-cost, lightweight, high-performance stationary jammers and mobile decoys.
Since the Mumbai terrorist attacks two years ago, more attention has been given to underwater surveillance systems to boost maritime defenses against terrorists around sensitive targets like harbors and oil rigs. WASS hopes to sell its complete family of lightweight, hull-mounted and variable-depth sonar systems, optimized for mines and objects avoidance, the SNA 2000/I. The sonar features high frequency of operation and very low target strength (small stationary objects) detection capability, and can be installed either in the bow dome of large ships, together with the main sonar or stand alone, or under the keel of Fast Attack Crafts or patrol boats, as a navigational aid.