The arrival of the British warship HMS Defender has given the Indian Navy a chance to study the Royal Navy’s type 45 destroyer up close, especially the integrated electric propulsion system. A team of naval engineers from the Indian Navy visited the vessel and sat with British naval officers to study the propulsion system, crew berthing for women and combat systems.
According to senior officials from the two navies, at least 15 officers from the Indian Navy visited the HMS Defender that is currently moored at Mormugao Port Trust. The officers also interacted with officials from the foreign defence manufacturers who we re present on the vessel.
“HMS defender is propelled by an integrated electric propulsion system. I understand that the Indian Navy is also looking at the technology. So today we have marine engineers from the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy working collaboratively to understand how this system works,” commanding officer of HMS Defender Commander Richard Hewitt said.
The Indian Navy is seriously looking at electric propulsion for its future warships, especially future aircraft carriers. The Indian naval fleet largely depends on steam turbine, diesel or gas turbine propulsion with the engines physically connected to the drive systems. “In the HMS Defender, which has an integrated electric propulsion, the ship acts as a power station and is not installed at the same level and near the gear box and the propeller. This system saves space, is easier to upgrade and is flexible, which is why the Indian Navy is looking to adopt this into upcoming platforms,” said Tharun Koshy, an industry specialist with General Electric (GE) who was present for the interaction.
While the HMS Defender has taken a break from its deployment in the strait of Hormuz, the ship’s visit to Goa was a move to showcase the destroyer’s propulsion and power technology, ship design, and combat systems to Indian Naval officers and Indian defence industry specialists. Speaking to reporters, Hewitt said that UK has a world class industrial base that can compete globally in defence manufacturing.
“HMS Defender uses integrated electric propulsion, a propulsion technology which the Indian Navy is considering for its vessels. Discussions can then be had between India’s specialists and the UK’s teams who are actually using the technology,” another senior official said.