What is Maareech Anti-Torpedo Decoy System inducted by Indian Navy?

An advanced anti-torpedo decoy system: Indian Navy has inducted Maareech (advanced anti-torpedo decoy system) which can detect, locate, divert and neutralize incoming torpedo.
Advanced Torpedo Defence System
Advanced Torpedo Defence System

On June 26, 2020, Indian Navy inducted an advanced anti-torpedo decoy system-- Maareech. This system is capable of being fired from all frontline ships. 

DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) has designed and developed Maareech. It can detect, locate, divert and neutralize incoming torpedo. 

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As per a press release by Indian Navy, a prototype of this system which was installed on a nominated naval platform has completed all user evaluation trials and demonstrated the features as per the Naval Staff Qualification Requirements.

The induction of this system testifies the joint efforts by the Indian Navy and DRDO towards indigenous development of defence technology. In addition to this, it also added a feather in the government's 'Make in India' initiative and is in the direction to become 'Aatma Nirbhar' or 'self-reliant' in niche technology.

The defence PSU (Public Sector Undertaking), Bharat Electronics Limited, will manufacture the advanced anti-torpedo decoy system. 

What is an Advanced Torpedo Defence System?

An Advanced Torpedo Defence System (ATDS) is a torpedo detection and countermeasure system used by the Indian Navy with the help of SONAR. The advance system can automatically set its path towards the enemy warships with the help of low-frequency signals generated by engines of warship. The advance system also deploys multiple decoys to confuse the incoming torpedo. 

The functionality of Maareech:

Maareech is an advanced Anti-Torpedo Decoy System and works mainly on:

1- Hull mounted SONAR: It detects and locates enemy torpedoes and send its location and other information to the processor unit. 

2- Towed Decoy and Winch System: It is an additional decoy in the Maareech having a long array of decoys which are about 100 m long. This array is released in the ocean with the help of a winch system and is mounted on the ship. 

3- Expendable Decoy: It launches multiple expendable decoys which generates low-frequency signals as that of warship engine. This creates confusion about the actual location of the warship. 

4- Display cum Processor Unit: It receives a signal from hull-mounted SONAR and towed array. It helps the winch system and expendable decoy launcher to launch decoys. 

Working Principle of Maareech:

The expendable and towed decoys force incoming torpedo to move in a circular path in search of warship and thus exhausts its energy by running through long and ineffective courses. This principle prevents the enemy from a torpedo from detecting the exact location of the warship. 

History of Induction of Maareech:

In November 2015, the first Maareech ATDS system was inducted in the Indian Navy by the then Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar. Currently, this system is used in INS Kolkata and INS Chennai warships of Indian Navy. 

What is Torpedo?

Torpedo is an underwater ranged weapon which can be launched either above or below the surface of the water. The weapon is self-propelled towards a target and has an explosive warhead designed to detonate either on contact with or in proximity to the target. 

Torpedoes are propelled by motors and work for about 10-20 minutes. After this period, they lose their system and sink in the ocean beds. 

A modern torpedo can be launched from a variety of platforms and can be divided into two broad categories-- lightweight and heavyweight. It can be further divided in straight running, autonomous homers and wire-guided. 

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