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Air-independent propulsion

Topics Covered:

  1. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Air-independent propulsion


What to study?

For Prelims: Features and operation.

For Mains: Significance and the need for it.


Context: DRDO is a step closer to boosting endurance of submarines with the indigenous Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System. It has successfully tested the operation of the indigenous land-based prototype.


What is Air-independent propulsion?

It is any technology which allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without the need to access atmospheric oxygen (by surfacing or using a snorkel).

It can augment or replace the diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels.

It is based on the combustion of stored oxygen and ethanol to augment battery-powered propulsion.


Significance of AIP:

  • AIP significantly improves stealth because it enables a submarine to generate electricity for services and battery charging and propulsion while completely submerged.
  • AIP systems also generate electricity, powering a submarine to operate and also generate oxygen, lighting and amenities for crew.
  • The Non-nuclear submarines running on battery power or AIP can be virtually silent.


Sources: the hindu.