Indian Navy’s last two of the six Scorpene submarines being manufactured by Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL) will be rolled out without the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system.
The AIP module which is not part of the original Scorpene contract with DCNS enables conventional submarines to stay underwater for a longer duration greatly increasing the submarines stealth characteristics.
“We have studied their solution (AIP system of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)… They need more measures to make it a safe plug… For the fifth and sixth submarines it is too late,” managing director of DCNS Bernard G. Buisson told The Hindu.
The Indian Navy is keen on having AIP modules fitted on the last two Scorpene submarines. However, due to the delay in its development, the AIP will not be fitted right away.
Buisson was quoted as saying that the only option now of installing the AIP system is during the refit of the submarine, which is six years after induction. It is followed by a major refit six years after that.
DRDO officials said the prototype of the AIP system was ready and the programme could be pushed forward once a production agency was identified to manufacture it.