Will the U.S. Navy Build Stealthy AIP Submarines?
The U.S. Navy has not built diesel-electric submarines since the late 1950s, instead investing itself into an all-nuclear powered submarine force. Will a slew of modern advancements in AIP (air-independent propulsion) technology prompt the Navy to reconsider its stance?
A conventional, diesel-electric submarine generates electricity that drives the motor, which then powers the propellers. There are major disadvantages to this design: a diesel-electric submarine must frequently surface to recharge its batteries, and cannot sustain high speeds for prolonged periods of time.