THE strategically important Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) crucial for diesel electric submarines, being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), achieved a key milestone by undergoing further land-based tests in tune with requirements of the Indian Navy, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday. The Ministry said the technology has reached ‘maturity’ to be fitted on submarines.
“DRDO has achieved an important milestone in the development of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System by proving the land-based prototype on March 8. The plant was operated in endurance mode and max power mode as per the user requirements.” read a press statement from the Ministry of Defence. The system is being developed by DRDO’s Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL), located at Ambernath in Thane district of Maharashtra.
Indian Navy has both conventional and nuclear submarines in its arsenal. The fleet of conventional submarines use diesel-electric engines, which require them to surface almost daily to get atmospheric oxygen for fuel combustion. With the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system on board, these submarines will be required to surface much less frequently, thus increasing their lethality and stealth multifold. Similar tests of the AIP prototype were conducted back in October 2019.
While nuclear-powered submarines are considered as key assets for deep sea operations, the conventional diesel electric ones are vital for…