Two interceptor boats commissioned


Kochi : Two state-of-the-art Interceptor Boats (IB) that would be used for surveillance and rescue operations were Monday commissioned here by Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, Director General Indian Coast Guard.

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The boats – C-150 and C-151 – have been designed to perform a variety of roles including, surveillance, search and rescue, anti-smuggling and anti-poaching operations and would be based in Vizhinjam near the popular tourist destination of Kovalam in Kerala and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.

They are the eighth and ninth in the series of eleven IBs which were built by ABG Shipyard, Surat, and are fitted with modern navigational and communications equipment.

The 28-metre ships have an endurance of 500 nautical miles and can achieve speeds up to 45 knots and are equipped with advanced navigational and communication equipment.

In addition to small arms, the IBs are also fitted with 12.7 mm Prahari Heavy Machine Guns (HMG) to augment the vessels’ fire power. The aluminium hulled vessels are propelled by water jets with the added advantage of shallow water operations and high speed.

The ships will have a crew of 11 personnel each.

Vice Admiral Anil Chopra in his address termed the Interceptor Boats as the workhorses of the Coast Guard.

“As on date, the coast Guard has a fleet of 75 ships and 45 aircraft. By 2012 the Indian Coast Guard will have 42 stations and 15 Air Units functioning at various locations along the coast. Further, a coastal surveillance network is being established with 46 stations in phase I and 38 more in phase II, to ensure real time coastal surveillance,” said Chopra.