Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved a milestone in the development of Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system by proving the land-based prototype on 8 March. A press note from DRDO stated, “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.” 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. Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies.
While there are different types of AIP systems being pursued internationally, fuel cell based AIP of NMRL is unique as the hydrogen is generated onboard. 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. Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of DRDO, Indian Navy and Industry teams involved in the successful development. He called upon DRDO fraternity to come up with more such advanced technological achievements by putting extraordinary efforts. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO, Indian Navy and Industry for the achievement.