DRDO a step closer to boosting endurance of submarines

October 31, 2019 01:12 am | Updated 01:12 am IST - New Delhi

Representational image.

Representational image.

The indigenous Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system to enhance the endurance of conventional submarines being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) reached a milestone on Wednesday with the successful operation of a land-based prototype. All Scorpene submarines of the Navy are planned to be equipped with an AIP module in due course.

“Operation of the land-based prototype engineered to the form-and-fit of a submarine was witnessed by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh in the presence of Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy at the Naval Materials Research Laboratory, Ambernath,” the DRDO said in a statement.

An AIP module enables conventional submarines to remain submerged for longer duration.

“Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies,” the statement said and added that the DRDO programme to build a fuel cell-based AIP system for Indian Naval Submarines had “crossed several milestones in technology maturity.”

Earlier the Navy had planned to install AIP modules on the last two of six Sorpene submarines as they rolled out of the production line. However, it could not be realsied due to developmental delays. Now, the Navy is drawing up plans to install them on all Scorpene submarines as they go for their first refit.

Dr. Reddy assured that all efforts will be made to meet performance standards and timelines of the programme so that induction of DRDO AIP into operational Submarines could be achieved as per the Navy’s schedule, the DRDO added.

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