Air Independent Propulsion system – UPSC Prelims

Air Independent Propulsion System:
  • AIP system generates power through the reverse electrolysis of oxygen and hydrogen.
  • The two elements, carried on board the submarine, chemically combine to produce electricity.
  • This eliminates the need for a diesel generator by charging the submarine’s batteries.
  • Submarines with AIP can remain underwater for 10-14 days, reducing its vulnerability to detection.
  • A conventional diesel-electric submarine, on the other hand, is powered by electric batteries. Since the batteries get discharged, the submarine must surface every day or two to recharge them by running diesel generators (which require atmospheric air). During this process, the surfaced submarines are visible to radar and vulnerable to attack.
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