State-run engineering firm Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has inked a pact with GE Power Conversion for the development of integrated electric propulsion systems for the Indian Navy. "The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between BHEL and GE Power Conversion has provided a boost to the indigenous capability in the field of advanced technology for Integrated Full Electric Propulsion System," a statement said.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Jeremy Quin MP, UK Minister of Defence Procurement, Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, Anurag Bajpai, Joint Secretary Defence Industrial Promotion, Dr. Nalin Shinghal, CMD BHEL and other senior officials.

With the signing of the MoU, the expertise and facilities of GE Power Conversion and BHEL can be leveraged for quick induction of this advanced technology, combining indigenous manufacture, by the Indian Navy, which has been at the forefront of Aatmanirbhar Bharat - Make in India program.

Meanwhile, a Joint Working Group on India-UK Electric Propulsion Capability Partnership has been set up with the goal of fostering military and industrial collaboration in maritime Electric Propulsion systems.

"I am delighted that GE Power Conversion and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd are signing an MoU today as a first step of an exciting collaborative journey for the UK and India," Quin said.

GE Power Conversion is a world leader in electric propulsion, with equipment installed on some of the latest platforms of the US Navy and the Royal Navy, including the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers.

These systems provide flexibility in selection and layout of power generation equipment and drive elements with enhancement of stealth features and fuel efficiency.

Keeping in mind the matured state of the technology and potential for integration, electric propulsion has been identified as a key technology for the Indian Navy on new construction platforms.