DRDO develops Air Independent Propulsion System


DRDO Fuel-Cell based Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP): India’s state owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved an important milestone in the development of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System by proving the land-based prototype on Tuesday, said the ministry of defence.

According to the defence ministry statement, the plant was operated in endurance mode and max power mode as per the Indian Navy‘s requirements.

The system is being developed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) of DRDO.

DRDO’s Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP)

As a part of Government of India’s self-reliance initiative (a self-reliant India in defence), DRDO also roped in industry partners Larsen & Toubro and Thermax for development of this crucial technology, which is unique from other similar systems developed globally.

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“Technology has now reached the stage of maturity for fitment into target vessels,” the DRDO said after the successful test.

Indian Navy Submarine

A Scorpene Class Submarine. (File)

The DRDO said Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) has a force multiplier effect on lethality of a diesel electric submarine as it enhances the submerged endurance of the boat, several folds.

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Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies, said the apex defence research body while highlighting the comparative benefits of fuel cell based AIP system.

The DRDO said while there are different types of AIP systems under-development in other countries, the fuel cell-based AIP of NMRL is unique as the hydrogen is generated onboard.

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