Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Indian Navy to buy 80 interception boats from Lankan firm

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, June 30, IRNA -- As part of the exercise to strengthen coastal security post 26/11, Indian Navy has decided to procure 80 interception boats at a cost of Rs 300 crore from a Sri Lanka-based ship manufacturer.

The boats are planned to be used by the newly formed Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) and other wings of the Navy, pti reported quoting naval officials as said.

The contract process for 80 Fast Interception Craft (FIC) from Sri Lanka-based SOLAS Marine is in its final stages and the deal is expected to be finalised soon, they said.

The Navy had last year placed an order worth around Rs 60 crore for 15 such boats with a French shipyard Chantier Naval Couach.

The first three boats of the lot were inducted four days back for operational service at Mumbai, they said.

Delivery of the first 15 FICs is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and the next 80 would be inducted in coming 36 months, they said.

The boats, with speeds between 45-50 miles per hour, would be mainly deployed for coastal security duties and would be used for engaging any suspicious vessel or activity in these areas, they said.

With four to five crew members and capability to patrol far off areas, the boats would also be deployed to provide protection to vital assets and installations along the coastal areas.

Post 26/11 attacks, the Navy was given the responsibility to look after coastal security along with the Coast Guard and the local authorities.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30455922

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