The head of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has proposed making the country’s marine engine engines retractable, with a proposal to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to set up an engine research centre.
The proposal, floated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, comes after the DRDO was asked by Defence Secretary Ajit Doval in January to examine whether the Indian Navy can operate a new Type 30 diesel-electric submarine with a diesel-powered engine in service.
The DRDO is also exploring the possibility of building a Type 30 with diesel propulsion for a new Indian Navy submarine.
The DRDO, however, has no plans to build a Type 45 engine.
“The main consideration is whether the Type 30-D is able to operate with a different type of propulsion,” a DRDO official said.
In its submission to the MoD, the DRO said a Type 25 engine could operate the Type 45 submarine.
“We have to be very careful about the engine design of a Type 35 submarine, because it has to be able to handle the water pressure,” the official said, adding the Type 25 had a range of 1,000 nautical miles and could operate with the Type 15 diesel-engined submarine.
However, the official did not reveal the type of the engine that the Type 35-D might use.
“We will get an engine design that can handle the pressure of the water at sea,” the officer said.
The proposed DRDO-DRDO submarine project is one of the three main areas for DRDO to explore for engine development.
“A Type 30 and Type 45 are in the pipeline for a Type 50, and a Type 60 is being developed for the Type 70,” the DRD official said adding the submarine would have a diesel engine.
The official said a proposal was also being considered for a diesel powered submarine that would have the ability to operate at sea, which would be used for operations such as reconnaissance, as well as surface and underwater patrols.