A submarine using AIP can remain submerged under water for longer periods of time

In an important milestone, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has conducted the final development test of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) that has the ability to make Indian submarines more lethal.

Announcing the development, the Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday that AIP has a force multiplier effect on the lethality of a diesel electric submarine as it enhances the submerged endurance of the boat, several folds.

In other words, a submarine using AIP can remain submerged under water for longer periods of time, making it more dangerous for the enemy.

The fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies, it said in a statement regarding the test of the land-based prototype that was carried out in Monday night.

The plant was operated in endurance mode and max power mode as per the user requirements. The system is being developed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) of DRDO.

While there are different types of AIP systems being pursued internationally, the fuel cell-based AIP of NMRL is unique as the hydrogen is generated onboard, the defence ministry said.

The technology has been successfully developed with the support of industry partners L&T and Thermax. It has now reached the stage of maturity for fitment into target vessels.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO, Indian Navy and Industry for the achievement.

Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of the teams involved in the successful development.