Early-Stage Analysis of Air Independent Propulsion Based on Fuel Cells for Small Submarines


  • Phong Cu Xuan Le Quy Don Technical University
  • Q. Nguyen Quoc Le Quy Don Technical University
  • P. Cu Xuan Cu Xuan Le Quy Don Technical University




air independent propulsion, fuel cell, indiscretion ratio, submarine, endurance


This paper presents an analysis of the results of a hybrid air independent propulsion based on fuel cells for small submarines. The weight and volume of the investigated propulsion, and the major tactical and technical characteristics of the 540-tonne submarine equipped with this propulsion have been determined. Five onboard systems for the hydrogen storage or generation, and the oxygen storage are considered. Combining a micro-balloon hydrogen system with the cryogenic oxygen storage is the best solution for the propulsion. The submerged endurance and range improved 32.1-64.8 times, as compared to just battery. The indiscretion ratio equals zero at cruising speeds of less than 7.1 knots, while at higher speeds, this value has dramatically decreased, and submarine secrecy has increased significantly.


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How to Cite

Cu Xuan, P., Nguyen Quoc, Q., & Cu Xuan, P. C. X. (2022). Early-Stage Analysis of Air Independent Propulsion Based on Fuel Cells for Small Submarines. Advances in Military Technology, 17(2), 457–469. https://doi.org/10.3849/aimt.01744



Research Paper