The Indian Navy chief admiral Sunil Lanba on Monday said that India was constructing its own indigenous Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to equip the next generation of submarines that the Indian Navy is planning to induct. The AIP allows submarines to operate without having to access atmospheric oxygen.
This is being chalked out to counter the AI-equipped submarines that Pakistan has. Commenting on the development, Lanba said, “It’s in a project definition stage. Prototype-based plants are being constructed and once ready it will be fitted in the Kalvari class submarines.” He is on his first visit to the city after taking over as the Navy chief.
Lanba further said that their units are combat ready 24/7 and throughout a year. “The Navy has always been focused on building indigenous ships and submarines. While over 200 ships have been built in the country till date, 46 ships and submarines are under construction in Indian shipyards now,” said the Navy chief.
Speaking on the development of INS Vikrant, which was commissioned as the first aircraft carrier of the Navy, Lanba said they were working in close coordination with the Kochi shipyard to ensure that INS Vikrant is commissioned in December 2018.
On INS Viraat, the Navy chief said, “After being of good service for 27 years, Viraat is scheduled to be de-inducted in the later part of the year. The Defence Ministry has written to all coastal states in order to convert the ship into a museum and is awaiting response from them.”
When asked about the recent fire incidents on support vessels, Lanba said, “A board of enquiry has been set up to investigate the incidents of fire aboard the two immediate support vessels (ISV). We will find out the cause of the fire.” He further added that there is also a board of inquiry to look into the incident where two people were killed on board INS Vikramaditya due to a toxic gas leak in June this year.