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'Two of Coast Guard's latest vessels faulty'

December 04, 2009 01:29 IST
Two of the latest and largest Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels of the Coast Guard, built to operate with helicopters, have been found incapable of doing so because of faulty equipment on the ship.

The Halo Traction Gear on-board the two OPVs -- ICGS Sankalp and Samrat -- does not allow helicopters to land, Coast Guard sources said in New Delhi.

The HTGs, they added, fitted on the helicopter deck to take the choppers into their hangers were built without proper sanctions and planning and their raised height prevented helicopters from landing on these two ships.

ICGS Sankalp is the latest ship of the Coast Guard's OPVs and even after about 18 months of its commissioning, it has not been able to operate light weight Chetak choppers from it.

The ship was built by the defence-sector Goa Shipyard Limited and was commissioned in May 2008 by Union Defence Minister A K Antony.

The Coast Guard has around 35 patrol vessels and only five AOPVs in its fleet operates ALH Dhruv and Chetak helicopters.

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