Interview | Chairman, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, Dr S. Christopher

‘We are Keen on Inducting DRDO AIP Without Any Add-Ons. Our Prototype is Available and Working… (it) has Been Partially Tested. The Full Testing Should be Ready by the End of This Year’

S Christopher Chairman DRDO

The Indian Navy says that it will use the DRDO-made Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) for its P-75I submarines whose RFI was issued recently. Meanwhile, officials from Russia’s Rubin design bureau who met you earlier in the year seem ready to assist you in the development of the indigenous AIP. Would you get into an agreement with Rubin or any other OEM for development of the AIP?

We have developed a Fuel Cell AIP where chemical energy generates electrical power. We are doing this by using a chemical substance, Borax, in semi-solid state which is available within the country and need not be imported.

Other countries with Fuel Cell technology mix oxygen (oxidiser) and hydrogen (fuel) for chemical reaction which produces electricity water as a by-product. While oxygen has to be stored separately, hydrogen can be created and kept in some form or another on board. The hydrogen can come from diesel, petroleum or kerosene as it belongs to the carboxylic acid family.

Rubin has told us that they can help to generate hydrogen (fuel) from diesel and petrol. Our conversion from Borax for the submarine is more efficient. Borax is abundantly available in the country. However, since they have started diesel as source we had discussion to know what it is and also to have it as add on to have two sources of hydrogen generation but our decision as of now is only to go with DRDO-made AIP without any add on.


Is DRDO not keen on that?

DRDO is keen on inducting DRDO AIP without any add-ons.

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