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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK (INN)

Russian Expert Konstantin Makienko Deputy director of Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technology (CAST) Moscow has warned India that India must do the balancing act and factor in the cost and operational viability while deciding on purchase of air-independent propulsion (AIP)-equipped submarines under Project-75-I .

Air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology offered by Countries who are in the race to supply 6 Conventional Diesel Submarines under Project-75-I to Indian Navy use Different technologies in their AIP and Indian navy will have to take a call on which will suit them better .

Makienko further went on to explain that French company DCNS offer of enlarged Scorpene with 2nd gen AIP technology which is based on conversion of diesel fuel into hydrogen, is very similar to AIP systems developed by India, he also added that French systems will not provide any advantage over local system . if India does go for French submarines India should still use Indian developed solution then French. India plans to use DRDO developed AIP systems in with last Two Scorpene submarines which are been built in India under earlier Project-75.

German company TKMS (ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems) will offer Type-212A or Type-214 submarines to India, According to Makienko Germany will offer AIP technology developed by Siemens that relies on electrochemical generators that use hydrogen fuel cells, downside of such complex AIP technology is higher procurement and higher operating cost for the users due to additional infrastructure required to maintain Chemical plants along with highly trained Chemical engineers and support crew .

Makienko adds that Siemens AIP technology has stringent requirements in terms of organisation and training of the crew required to maintain their fuel cells which might not be ideal for Indian navy which has taken a beating in submarine operation due to frequent accidents with its Submarine fleet which have been blamed on laxity in not following standard operational procedures .

Makienko also warns that India should not overdo integration of AIP technologies in all their Conventional submarines since India already has decided to build 6 new Hunter killer Nuclear Submarines over its Ballistic nuclear missile submarines which are currently been developed in Vizag . Addition of new Nuclear submarines in India naval fleet will have a clear performance advantage over any non-nuclear submarines so Indian navy should choose wisely.