SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Taiwan’s Navy recently hosted the keel-laying ceremony for its Indigenous Defense Submarine (IDS) to mark the completion of its first construction phase. vessels in question are estimated to be in the 2,500-ton class and 70m in length and externally is similar to Japan’s Soryu–diesel-electric submarine, while a version of the AN/BYG-1 submarine combat management system, used in US Navy nuclear submarines will also be used in the upcoming Taiwanese submarines.
This is Taiwan’s first foray into the development of the indigenous diesel-electric submarine locally in the country after the refusal of many countries due to China’s increasing aggressiveness towards the island nation. Many countries like Japan and United States are chipping with the technology that is required to help in the construction of the submarine but most of the construction will happen in Taiwan along with weapons that have been developed locally in the country.
Indian Navy is all set to induct 4th Kalvari-class submarine that has been license-built locally in India and is still keen to press for another foreign submarine under Project-75I where again it seeks to procure 6 more next-generation diesel-electric submarines locally but continues to insist that local technology is not ready for development of fully indigenous diesel-electric submarine yet since it still missing some of the critical technology that it has not been to develop yet even though local shipyards have been advocating to go for upgraded Kalvari-class submarine to save foreign reserves but also to absorb and utilize the Transfer of Technology (ToT) that has already taken place.
Directorate of Naval Design of the Indian Navy has worked on two different classes of nuclear-powered ballistic submarines programs and is actively involved in the development of the new class of nuclear attack submarines this experience should have enough to apply and develop low hanging fruit like the development of an indigenous diesel-electric submarine based on the Transfer of Technology (ToT) that has taken place for the Kalavari-Class submarines.
DRDO already has demonstrated its Fuel Cell-based Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System but due to the non-availability of the submarine to install and to be demonstrated the technological developmental cycle remains uncompleted. The Navy instead wants to go for an expensive 3000-ton displacement foreign submarine with an AIP system of foreign origin. Local Battery manufactures have responded to calls by the Navy to develop lithium-ion batteries for its submarines that seems to be have been the second bottleneck technology that the Navy claimed is yet to be mastered in India after AIP but until there is a local project how it will be possible to demonstrate the technology.
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