Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has inducted the first of 36 high speed interceptor boats to boost the coastal security force’s capability to prevent terror attacks like the one on Mumbai in 2008 and illegal activities close to the 7,516-km coast.
The $200-million order for the 36 interceptor boats had been placed by the Indian government post-26/11 terror strikes as part of the new coastal security measures.
Designed and built in-house by Indian private sector Larsen and Toubro at its Surat unit, the interceptor boat was commissioned at Porbander in Gujarat. The 30-metre Interceptor Boat C-401, with 90-tonne displacement, can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots or 83 km per hour.
The vessel is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment and medium-range armament, and is designed for high speed interception, close-coast patrol, low-intensity maritime operations, search and rescue and maritime surveillance.
The commissioning of the interceptor boat has taken the ICG force level to 77 vessels and with more planned inductions in the future; it is expected to double by 2018.
The interceptor boat will be based at Mundra under the administrative and operational control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (North-West).
The interceptor boat has a full aluminum-alloy body for reduced weight and is powered by twin water-jet propulsion systems.
It can operate effectively in shallow waters, critical for actions close to the shore.