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MTU 12V 396 SE84

The Indian Navy has embarked on discussions with various Indian private-sector companies for the development of indigenous marine propulsion engines for conventional submarines. This initiative aims to achieve self-reliance in a critical area and power the next generation of underwater vessels.

The primary focus of this project is the development of 12 next-generation diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) under Project-76. These submarines are intended to replace the ageing Kilo-class submarines currently operated by the Indian Navy. The new engines are expected to match the performance of the existing MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines used in the Kalvari-class submarines.

Developing new marine propulsion engines specifically designed for submarines is a complex task. These engines require specialized features like silent running capabilities to minimize acoustic detection, a crucial factor for underwater stealth. Recognizing the inherent challenges and the lack of prior experience in such endeavours, the Indian Navy is open to collaboration with licensed partners of MTU and MAN already established in India.

Project-76 Program is still at least 5 years before it takes off and another 3 to 4 years before work on the first submarines begins but many of the technologies required for the program including the AIP System, Lithium-ion battery packs and Sensor suite are already under discussion for development by the Indian Navy in preparation for the program since work on the design already has begun.

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