Its L&T Again – Indian Navy to Boost Underwater Prowess with Indigenous Air-Independent Propulsion System

Indigenously deploying AIP systems on board submarines will significantly enhance the underwater capability of the Indian Navy. The development would be a giant step toward India’s self-reliance in defense and list it among the few countries possessing this state-of-the-art technology.

What is Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP)?

AIP systems extend the submerged endurance of conventional, diesel-electric submarines to considerable periods, much beyond batteries. This implies that they are able to cover more range, be more stealthy, and remain undetected for a longer time. The indigenous AIP system is based on fuel-cell technology and relatively clean, with the byproduct being only water.

Boosting Underwater Endurance

Developed by DRDO, in association with private behemoths like Larsen & Toubro, the system could make Indian submarines last considerably longer underwater. The current capabilities could at best stretch as far as having the submarines remain submerged for some days; AIP is promising an endurance boost nearly two weeks long. Subsequently, this means that submarines can patrol areas of interest for a longer time and can respond in quick time to threats underwater.

First Up: Kalvari Class Submarines

The indigenously developed AIP system would be fitted on submarines belonging to the Kalvari class, which is the mainstay of conventional submarines with the Indian Navy. The first beneficiary will be INS Kalvari, which goes for its first major refit in September 2025. A complex process of retrofitting involves cutting a submarine virtually into two halves to accommodate the new AIP section. This will be undertaken with assistance from the French shipbuilder Naval Group, the original designer of the Kalvari class series.

Indigenous Development: A Strategic Leap

The indigenously developed and integrated AIP system has been a massive success toward self-sufficiency in the defense sector in India.

They bring down dependence on foreign suppliers for vital submarine technology and emergence as key players in the Indian underwater warfare components. This indigenous development is expected to open up further development tracks of submarine propulsion systems, ushering in an era of enhanced stealth, range, and operational effectiveness of the Indian Navy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *