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Navy inducts indigenous fast attack craft
February 10, 2006 18:07 IST
The Indian Navy Friday inducted 'INS Bangaram,' the first of the indigenously designed and built fast attack craft. Commissioned by Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval command, Vice Admiral S C S Bangara, at a function in Kochi, the 320-tonne ship named after Bangaram islands in Lakshadweep is 45 metres long and capable of doing speeds over 20 knots thus facilitating extensive surveillance in and around the islands.
The ship is capable of covering over 2,000-nautical miles without replenishment. At the commissioning ceremony, Vice Admiral Bangara said Indian Navy would continue to play a significant role in promoting and protecting national interests.
"If anything, our security and diplomatic roles will only assume wider dimensions as we continue to expand our engagements with our neighbours and regional partners and strengthen our bridges of friendship with them," he said.
With increasing investment and infrastructure development along the Kerala coast, it was important that India gears up to protect her coastal installations and strategically important island territories, which requires constant vigilance surveillance and quick reaction capability, he said.
Designed by the Navy's Directorate of Naval Design and built at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata, the ship would be based at Kochi under the Naval officer incharge of Kerala and Lakshadweep.
Rear Admiral (Retd) T S Ganeshan, chairman and managing director, GRSE, said INS Bangaram was an improved version of Trinkat class ships already in service with Navy.
GRSE has specialised in the design of these fast attack crafts and till date 33 such ships of various designs have been constructed and delivered to the navy and the coast guard, he said. The vessel was a cost-effective platform for patrol and rescue operations at sea and had combat capabilities with matching firepower for its role. The ship has two engines of the latest generation MTU 4000 M90, capable of developing 5440 KW power to achieve a speed of 28 knots.
Bangaram is the first of the four ships of this class. The contractual delivery of INS Bitra, the second ship, had been completed on January 28 this year and it is likely to be commissioned this month. The two other ships would be delivered by April-May this year. GRSE is developing the design for the next generation improved version of this class with water jet propulsion and speed of around 35 knots.
Model test results at SSPA Sweden are very encouraging, he said adding, the shipyard was expecting orders for the fast attack crafts of the new design.
INS Bangaram is the first of the indigenously designed and built fast attack crafts which have established their ability in naval operations and are being extensively used for coastal defence and anti-smuggling activities. A ship of this type has been gifted to Seychelles and another would be handed over to the Maldives.