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L&T signs contract with DRDO for indigenous AIP system modules

Kalvari-class submarine of Indian Navy.

BENGALURU (PTI): Larsen & Toubro and DRDO on Thursday signed a contract to develop two Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system modules for Kalvari-class submarines of the Indian Navy.

The contract documents were exchanged between Arun T Ramchandani, Executive Vice President and Head-L&T Defence and PT Rojatkar, Director – Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) in the presence of J D Patil, Member of Executive Committee of Management and Advisor (Defence & Smart Technologies) to CEO & MD Larsen & Toubro Limited as well as senior officials from NMRL and L&T, the conglomerate said in a statement.

It added that these modules constitute the core of the fuel cell-based AIP System, indigenously developed by NMRL of DRDO with L&T as prime industry partner, an association spanning more than a decade. The Energy Modules (EMs) comprising fuel cells produce the required power, along with on-board Hydrogen generation.

The technology of the indigenous AIP system is a unique one that generates hydrogen on demand, thereby obviating the need for carrying hydrogen onboard which is a major safety concern for a submarine, the statement said.

“On realisation and integration of these modules in the submarines, India will join an elite club of a handful of nations who have indigenously developed fuel cell based submarine AIP technology which is critical for increasing the endurance of conventional submarines,” L&T said.

The company also said that principally this technology is a green one since the byproduct of the reaction is non-polluted water, which can be released into the oceans.

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