Sunday, October 5, 2008

AIP For SSKs



As you all are aware by now, the Defence Research & Development Organisation’s Ambarnath-based Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL), along with the Kochi-based Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), has since 2002 been developing a fuel cell-based air-independent propulsion (AIP) system that will enable the SSK to stay submerged continuously for about 25 days. The indigenously-developed AIP module is expected to be ready for sea trials by 2013. The very same Indian companies that are currently engaged with the DRDO for realising the ATV project will also be roped in series-production the AIP modules. for The above drawings serve to illustrate what the DRDO-developed AIP module will look like.—Prasun K. Sengupta

17 comments:

OK no more jokes said...

wasting time making a AIP coz its used for conventional subs. india shd concentrate on making its underwater force a full nuclear one like USN, RN ...

Prasun K Sengupta said...

That will be a great folly. A mixed force will be much more desirable. Navies like those of France, the UK and the US do not have to engage in littoral warfare, unlike the Indian Navy. The SSNs and SSBNs of the UK, US and France operate in the high seas and oceans, they have no enemies in their immediate vicinity that have formidable submarine warfare/ASW capabilities. Therefore their navies do not have to operate close to any coastline in shallow waters. The Indian submarine warfare/ASW operational scenario is completely different and hence there still exists a very stonr case for India to maintain credible SSK force levels.

Anonymous said...

why aren't nuclear attacks subs formidable enuough to engage in littoral warfare? Of course not those HUGE 10,000+ ton one but like France's attack sub (forgot its name and tonnage)but its the smallest nuke attack sub in the world.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@1:02PM: You're of course referring to the new Barracuda-class SSNs of the French Navy. They will definitely set the standards for SSNs operating in littoral waters. But the bigger ones like the Royal Navy's Astute-class will still be required to stay in deeper waters and engage in land-attack by launching the Tomahawk T-LAMs. But these SSNs will not be able to effectively operate as hunter-killer platforms while operating in waters, say 25nm away from the coastline. That remains the domain of the SSKs.

Anonymous said...

to sengupta

its soooooooo nice that v r developing an AIP system indegeneously at last

ANOTHER INDEGENOUS SYSTEM FOR NAVY'S INDEGENISATION

but what about indegeneous diesel submarine

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Well, truth be told. There will be some select AIP-related technology imports which is unavoidable not only in India's case, but this applies to industrialised developed countries as well. But in terms of operational sovereignty for the end-user, the country will become self-reliant and that's what matters the most. As for the indigenous diesel-electric submarine, you have to ask yourself the following question: if India can 'indigenously' design and fabricate a nuclear-powered submarine like the ATV technology demonstrator, then how come the country's shipyards and related industrial entities are still unable to design and build much smaller diesel-electric submarines? How does one explain this anomaly?

Anonymous said...

wto sengupta

what r the difference between
MESMA and fuel cell AIP

also want to know that r russians also deveploing fuel cell AIP

Anonymous said...

to prasun

r above AIP pics produced by drdo or not

Anonymous said...

Hi,

is CHina developing an AIP too in your knowledge?

max said...

@Prasun

The reason is because firstly we don't have proper shipyards in the country. As you know they're all packed with orders. Navy is still reluctant to allow private shipyards to participate in construction of "sensitive vessels". Secondly I don't think Indian Navy sees building indegenous SSKs as a necessity as they are available off the shelf from several countries. Indegenous development would be expensive and time consuming. And by the time development is complete India may have is own nuclear underwater force and may not be interested in inducting more SSKs; I mean if they can build small nuclear subs won't it be better?. Why waste time on a technology that's gonna be obselete soon? They rather concentrate on developing technology for nuke subs and nuke aircraft carriers that cannot be bought. Moreover ATV's hull design has not proven itself. I guess perhaps if the ATV's 5000-odd tonne hull is validated after sufficient sea trials, they may go ahead making SSKs using the same technology (but smaller) - only thing substituting the PWR/BWR with a gas turbine (perhaps foreign) / AIP system.

Max said...

And if ATV is gonna be a SSN; which is believe it will after sea trials (as ~5000t is too small to be a SSBN), won't it be in the same class as Baracuda you mentioned above? Because Baracuda is also ~5000t. In fact Akulas and Charlies have smaller displacement so theres nothing great about the Baracuda. I agree India should eventually give up its SSK force and concentrate on having a nuclear navy. They should have a class of SSNs that displace around ~3000t and it should be mass produced like the LA class. 30-odd SSNs + ~10 foreign SSKs would be formidable enough. Moreover if you gotta force like that nobody's even gonna come near you.

Max said...

And yea thanks, but actually I'd already read those 3 articles you furnished before. They're rather old aren't they? And that's why I'm asking you for an update. Look forward to seeing it soon.

And Prasun you gotta see Ajai's comment form for his last post.. ROTFL you know that kept me laughing for around 10 mins.. funny fellas.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The drawings of the indigenous AIP module were NOT produced by DRDO, but by one of the prospective foreign collaborators which is most likely to team up with the NPOL and NSTL for completing the AIP module's R & D/engineering design phase.
China began work on AIP systems in the earl 1990s but it does not as yet have an operational SSK equipped with such a propulsion system.
Max, I had a good laugh too, It came up in both BROADSWORD & LIVEFIST and also in my blog, but I had it deleted after a while.

max said...

LOL Why was it deleted? Kollywood start not god enough for you :-)?

max said...

sorry typo, i meant kollywood stars not good enough for you?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

LOL it is not a question of good or bad. In fact, I'm overewhelmed by the blogger's decision to choose me to become the subject of such practical jokes. I just did not want to see that joke displayed in that blog. But it was a good laugh though, that goes without saying. It reminded me of that git who asked me a few weeks ago in LIVEFIST if I was a Ceylonese pannakotai!

max said...

reply @ kaveri topic. difficult to go backwards always..