Mumbai: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) tested the ‘Air Independent Propulsion’ (AIP) system, which increases the capability of the submarines to stay submerged for a longer time, deep in the oceans. The AIP technology, which was only with the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and China, is now there even with India. This will enable the Indian submarines to remain submerged for a longer time. Moreover, as the noise is less than nuclear submarines, it is difficult for the enemy to target them. The technology will be used in the Kalvari class submarines being built at the Mazagon Docks. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO on the success.
The last test of the technology was conducted on Sunday night in the marine region near Mumbai. Officials informed that the technology satisfied all the test criteria. This will be a significant development for the Indian Navy as the Indian submarines will remain submerged much longer with the AIP technology. Indian Navy has three nuclear submarines. Whereas the number of Diesel-Electric submarines in the Indian Naval fleet is 15. These submarines have to surface for battery charging and oxygen replenishment. But submarines equipped with the AIP technology can remain submerged for a much longer time.
AIP technology also makes it difficult for the enemy to locate the submarines. AIP uses hydrogen and Oxygen to generate electricity and that is not a very noisy process. DRDO said therefore, it will not be possible for the enemy to locate the concerned submarines. Confidence is being expressed that if the submarines from the Indian naval fleet are equipped with the AIP technology, this will increase the striking power of the Indian Navy tremendously. It is being said that Larson and Toubro and Thermax assisted DRDO in developing AIP technology.
Pakistan also was trying to get its submarines equipped with the AIP technology. Pakistan had raised a demand with France for the technology. But France dismissed the demand.