With a coastline of more than 7500 kilometers, India aims to equip its coast guards with 175 ships & 110 aircraft in next five years.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – After a delay of more than a decade to fill the gaps in coastal security, India has finally expedited the process to add more ships, aircraft, and high-speed interceptor boats to Indian Coast Guard, the country’s smallest armed force.
On Thursday, private defense firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T) delivered two more high-speed interceptor Ships (C-433 and C-434) to Indian Coast Guard near Chennai, seven months ahead of contractual schedule. The boats are part of a $200 million deal under which the company has to deliver 54 interceptors.
“Made of aluminum alloy hull with waterjet propulsion, these ships have a speed of over 45 knots with excellent maneuverability and are ideally suited for the high interception,” L&T said in a statement.
Last week, Indian Coast Guard had commissioned the fifth in the series of 105-meter offshore patrol vessel (OPV) — ‘ICGS Shaurya’ which is fitted with new age communication & radar system. Designed by state owned Goa Shipyard Limited, the ship is capable of carrying one twin engine light helicopter and five high-speed boats. The range of the vessel is 6500 knots.
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is construction another seven OPVs for Indian Coast Guard. The first delivery is expected by end of next month.
Presently the Indian Coast Guard operates a fleet of 60 ships and 19 Chetak & Dhruv advanced light helicopters. The government has approved $4.7 billion funds for upgrading the current strength to 175 ships & 110 aircraft in next five years. It is expected that large part of the contracts shall go to private players.
This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.