The next generation of Indian Navy warships will be powered by electrical propulsion systems. Facilities to train naval engineers to operate electric drive ships have been set up ahead of construction programmes for new warships, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command Vice-Admiral Anil Chawla disclosed in an exclusive interview to SP’s.

Integrated electric power generation in surface warships has been described as the “direction of future naval propulsion”, and this transition would mark a major technological leap. The US and UK have taken an early lead in the adoption of electrical propulsion in the Zumwalt class and Type 45 destroyers respectively, besides the Queen Elizabeth carriers and Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy.

The new Landing Platform Dock (LPD) amphibious warships will be the first Indian Navy ships fitted with an electrical drive. “More significantly, the Indian Navy envisages electrical propulsion for its next series of destroyers, the P18, and aircraft carriers of the future,” sources elaborated.

“….(There will be ) electrical propulsion in some of our future platforms, and accordingly, facilities to train personnel in electrical propulsion have already been set-up,” Vice-Admiral Chawla told SP’s.

Informed sources revealed to SP’s that the new Landing Platform Dock (LPD) amphibious warships will be the first Indian Navy ships fitted with an electrical drive. “More significantly, the Indian Navy envisages electrical propulsion for its next series of destroyers, the P18, and aircraft carriers of the future,” sources elaborated.

This next generation of naval propulsion will enable better stealth due to significant noise reduction, lesser fuel requirement, improvement in speed, reduction in environmental risks and an increase in manoeuverability.

The shift to electric will open up new avenues for procurement of propulsion systems for the Indian Navy. Warships built in India have traditionally relied upon the Soviet legacy Zorya-Mashproekt gas turbine engines from Ukraine

SP’s has learnt that a 5 MW electric propulsion system has been set up by Siemens of Germany at the onshore training establishment INS Valsura at Jamnagar in Gujarat to familiarise Indian Naval engineers with the technology and train them to operate the system.

The shift to electric will open up new avenues for procurement of propulsion systems for the Indian Navy. Warships built in India have traditionally relied upon the Soviet legacy Zorya-Mashproekt gas turbine engines from Ukraine.