Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System Modules

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently signed a significant contract for the realization of two Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System Modules. This breakthrough in submarine technology aims to extend the endurance of conventional submarines, enhancing their operational capabilities.  

Collaboration for Enhanced Capabilities 

The contract for the realization of two AIP System Modules was signed by L&T and DRDO, marking a significant milestone in the development of submarine technology. By leveraging their expertise and resources, the collaboration aims to enhance the performance and endurance of the Kalvari Class submarines. 

Developed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory 

The fuel cell-based AIP system, a core component of the modules, was developed by the Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) of DRDO. This indigenous technology represents a remarkable achievement in the field of submarine propulsion. It is a testament to the scientific prowess and innovative spirit of the research team. 

Manufacturing and Integration at AM Naik Heavy Engineering Complex 

The Energy Modules (EMs), comprising fuel cells that produce the required power, will undergo manufacturing, integration, and factory acceptance trials at the AM Naik Heavy Engineering Complex located in Surat. This state-of-the-art facility provides a conducive environment for the development and testing of advanced submarine technologies. 

On-Demand Hydrogen Generation 

One of the unique features of the indigenous AIP system technology is its ability to generate hydrogen on demand. This eliminates the need to carry hydrogen onboard, addressing a significant safety concern for submarines. Moreover, this green technology produces non-polluted water as a by-product, which can be safely released into the oceans. 

Transfer of Technology and Partnership 

The Transfer of Technology (ToT) for the AIP system was handed over to L&T by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during Aero India 2021. This transfer signifies a strategic partnership between DRDO and L&T, paving the way for further advancements and collaborations in the field of submarine technology. 

Collaboration with Naval Group of France 

In addition to the contract with L&T, DRDO has signed an agreement with Naval Group of France, the manufacturer of Scorpene class submarines. This agreement aims to fit the indigenous fuel cell-based AIP system on INS Kalvari, the first Scorpene class submarine, during its upcoming refit in late 2024 or early 2025. Furthermore, AIP modules are planned to be installed on all six Scorpene submarines built under Project-75. 



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