AIP Modules

Context: Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) signed a contract for realisation of two Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System Modules for the Kalvari Class of submarines of the Indian Navy. About Air Independent Propulsion:
  • AIP technology allows a conventional submarine to remain submerged for much longer than ordinary diesel-electric submarines.
  • AIP has a force multiplier effect on lethality of a diesel electric submarine as it enhances the submerged endurance of the boat several folds.
  • Improved stealth capacity:
    • All conventional submarines have to surface to run their generators that recharge the batteries that allow the boat to function under water.
    • However, the more frequently a submarine surfaces, the higher the chances of it being detected.
    • AIP allows a submarine to remain submerged for more than a fortnight, compared to two to three days for diesel-electric boats.
  • Indigenization of AIP: 
    • DRDO had achieved an important milestone in the development of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System by proving the land-based prototype.
    • India is developing AIP based on fuel cells. These cells convert chemical energy into electrical energy, recharging the batteries of the submarine.
  • Around 10 countries have developed or are close to building AIP technology, and almost 20 nations have AIP submarines.
Additional Information About Kalvari-class Submarine:
  • Kalvari-class is a diesel-electric submarine which includes vessels, such as the INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela, INS Vagsheer and INS Vagir.
  • Of these, Kalvari and Khanderi were commissioned in 2017 and 2019, and Vela and Karanj were inducted in 2021. Vagir has now been commissioned and Vagsheer was launched in 2022.
 News Source: The Hindu

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