China’s first AIP submarine reaches 10-year service milestone

(Xinhua/Han Lin)

China has mastered air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology, and the country’s navy submarines can now be equipped with the system to reach the advanced level of similar systems throughout the world.

This information was disclosed in a feature published on the website of the Ministry of National Defense on June 14. According to the article, China’s first AIP submarine has already completed over 50 important tasks and safely voyaged hundreds of thousands of miles since it was put into service 10 years ago.

An industry insider who asked not to be named told the Global Times on June 14 that China’s command of AIP technology is mature, and the system is widely used in the country’s submarine units. This news release emphasizes the confidence of the Chinese navy, the insider noted.

AIP allows non-nuclear submarines to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen, prolonging operation duration and increasing stealth. The new submarine is based on Type 035 and 039 submarines, both diesel-electric vessels. The new units are expected to greatly increase the combat capacity of the Chinese navy.

The insider also disclosed that a batch of AIP professionals have been cultivated to both satisfy the needs of routine training and military preparedness, and to carry out maintenance and fault deletion.

(The article is also published on People’s Daily Online)

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