India sets up land-based Air Independent Propulsion prototype for submarines

Photo: Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh and DRDO Chairman Dr G. Satheesh Reddy inspecting the land-based Air Independent Propulsion system’s prototype today.

New Delhi: India’s efforts to locally develop an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system for its futuristic indigenous diesel-electric submarine got a boost, with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) operationalising a land-based prototype at Ambernath in Maharashtra today.

Air Independent Propulsion has a force multiplier effect on the lethality of a diesel-electric submarine, as the system enhances the submerged endurance of the boat multifold.

Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies. The DRDO programme to build a fuel cell-based AIP system for Indian naval submarines has crossed several milestones in technology maturity.

Operation of the land-based prototype engineered to the form-and-fit of a submarine was witnessed by Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh in the presence of DRDO Chairman and Department of Defence Research and Development Secretary Dr G. Satheesh Reddy at the Naval Materials Research Laboratory in Ambernath, Maharashtra.

In his remarks, the Chief of the Naval Staff said the AIP programme is of great value to the nation in general and the Indian Navy in particular. He urged the DRDO and the Indian Navy to continue the partnership to meet the timelines set for short- and long-term goals.

The DRDO Chairman assured that all efforts will be made to meet the performance standards and timelines of the programme so that induction of DRDO’s AIP into operational submarines could be achieved as per Indian Navy’s schedule.

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