Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved an important milestone in the development of an air independent propulsion (AIP) system.

DRDO achieved the milestone after proving the land-based prototype on 8 March.

An AIP module has been equipped to execute a ‘force multiplier effect’ that improves the lethality of a diesel-electric submarine by further enhancing the endurance of the boat.

Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement: “Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies.

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“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 Defence Ministry noted that the technology has now reached the stage of maturity to be fitted onto the target submarines.

The AIP system is being developed by DRDO’s Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL), with support from industry partners L&T and Thermax.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Indian Navy has signed a contract with Suryadipta Projects for construction and delivery of eleven ammunition-cum-torpedo-cum-missile (ACTCM) barges.

The ACTCM barges delivery is scheduled to start from 22 May. They will be inducted in Indian Navy to undertake the mission needs for ‘embarking or disembarking’ ammunition, torpedo and missile.

This project is another addition to the Indian Government’s  ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.