Silent Stalkers: Russia's Anaerobic Subs to Become Invisible to Sonar

© Photo : Admiralty ShipyardsThe Amur 1650 fourth-generation diesel submarine, a Lada-class vessel featuring improved acoustic stealth, improved weapons systems and an optional air-independent propulsion system.
The Amur 1650 fourth-generation diesel submarine, a Lada-class vessel featuring improved acoustic stealth, improved weapons systems and an optional air-independent propulsion system. - Sputnik International
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The Kronstadt diesel-electric submarine, scheduled to be floated out in 2018, will be the first in the Russian Navy to feature the world’s most advanced anaerobic propulsion system, Izvestia reported.

Indian Navy personnel stand on an Indian Navy submarine during the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam on February 6, 2016 - Sputnik International
Russia, India Set to Discuss Creation of Anaerobic Power Unit for Submarines
The newly-designed air-independent propulsion units will spare the Project 677 Lada-class submarine the need to surface or use snorkel tubes to breathe air, thus exposing itself to detection by radar and other sensors.

Thanks to its anaerobic engines, the Kronstadt will be able to stay submerged for weeks and be less exposed than conventional diesel-electric subs.

Air-independent (closed cycle) submarines usually use hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells and are quieter compared to the diesel-electric boats that exist today.

The Russian-designed air-independent power plant (AIP) differs from its foreign analogues in that it obtains hydrogen within itself by reforming the onboard diesel fuel.

Worker at the ceremonial launch of the Diesel and electric submarine. (File) - Sputnik International
Russia Plans to Float Out Lada-Class Kronstadt Diesel Sub in 2018 - Navy
The Lada-class submarines, which carry six 533-mm torpedo launchers and can fire cruise missiles, are designed to defend naval bases, coastal waters and sea communication lines.

They can be effectively employed against both surface ships and submarines.

There are currently over 50 AIP submarines in service around the world, with the number likely to double in the coming decade.

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