07, Feb 2020
Prelims level : Science and Technology – Defence Technology Mains level : GS III: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and developing New Technology.
Why in News?
- The third Scorpene class submarine ”Karanj” is about to be delivered to the Indian Navy by the end of 2020.
- INS Karanj is a part of Project-75 which is currently in advanced stages of sea trials.
- It is a programme by the Indian Navy that entails building six Scorpene-Class attack submarines.
- The programme has been undertaken with transfer of technology from French company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
About Scorpene Submarines:
- The submarines in the Project-75 Scorpene-Class are powered by the conventional diesel-electric propulsion system.
- The first Scorpene submarine, Kalvari, was commissioned in 2017. It is supposed to go for a normal refit after six years in 2023, during which time the Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) would be installed in it.
- Second Scorpene “Khanderi” was inducted in September 2019.
- The remaining submarines (Vela, Vagir, and Vagsheer) in the series are in advanced stages of manufacturing and trials.
- List of Six Scorpene class Submarines:
About “Air-Independent Propulsion System”:
- Conventional submarines use a diesel-electric engine, and must surface for oxygen required for fuel combustion. If fitted with an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, the submarine needs to take in oxygen less frequently.
- Diesel-electric submarines require them to come to the surface frequently to charge their batteries, since their underwater endurance time is less. ‘Air-independent’ propulsion technology helps to make the diesel generator less dependent on surface air.
- AIP technology is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to provide submarines long-range and extended endurance capabilities undersea.
- While many naval powers, including India, have acquired nuclear-powered submarines for deep-sea operations, conventional diesel-electric variants are considered useful for coastal defence. The latter are optimised for stealth, and their weapons and sensors provide for effective operations close to the shore.