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India To Develop AIP Technology for Submarines

Even as the Indian Navy has announced that it is floating a global tender to procure six air independent propulsion (AIP) submarines for $1...

Even as the Indian Navy has announced that it is floating a global tender to procure six air independent propulsion (AIP) submarines for $11 billion, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the parliament Nov. 28 that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing such technology itself.

"The DRDO proposes to develop a technology to reduce vulnerability of the submarines available with the Indian Navy. The Naval Material Research Laboratory (NMRL), Ambernath, under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is progressing a technology demonstration project, 'Development of Land-based Prototype for Air Independent Propulsion (AIP),' for submarine propulsion," Antony told the parliament in a written reply, according to an Indian Defence Ministry statement.

The system is likely to be demonstrated by 2015, adds the release.

Last year, the Defence Ministry cleared the plan to procure six conventional submarines with AIP technology, and the request for proposals is likely to be floated by the end of the year or early 2012.

In 2004, India contracted the licensed production of six Scorpene conventional submarines for about $3.9 billion, but the production has been delayed by almost two years.

Under the proposal, six submarines are to be procured, of which three are likely to be built at the state-owned Mazagon Docks in Mumbai; one built at the state-owned Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam, with the help of a foreign collaborator; and two purchased directly from the overseas vendor.

The six submarines are being procured under the Navy's Project-75, and the subs will be equipped with stealth, land-attack capability and the ability to incorporate future technologies, such as AIP systems, to boost their operational capabilities.

The RfP is likely to be issued to French company DCNS, Germany's HDW and Russia's Amur Design Bureau.




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