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India to procure 80 FICs from Sri Lanka to equip Navys SPB

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Oct 18, IRNA -- India has signed a deal worth over Rs3000 billion to procure 80 fast-interception craft (FICs) from a Sri Lankan firm to equip Navy's Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) being raised after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

The Rs3000 billion contract for the 80 boats was signed with the Sri Lanka-based SOLAS Marine about three weeks ago and they are scheduled to be delivered in the next three years, pti reported today quoting Navy officials as said here.

The Sri Lanka-based firm was selected after a global tendering process by the Navy in June.
These 80 FICs will be in addition to the 15 similar boats being acquired from French shipyard Chantier Naval Couach, three of which have already been inducted at Mumbai.

With 1,000 well-armed personnel, the SPB will be tasked with the protection of naval and other assets, bases and harbours on both west and east coasts. It was one of the steps announced by the government after 26/11.

FICs are small boats, with a crew of five to seven sailors and top speeds of 40 to 50 knots, are equipped with light machine guns.

After 26/11, several steps have been taken to boost coordination in intelligence-sharing and operational matters, with fully-networked joint operation centres being set up in different locations.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30617359

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