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New-age ship for patrol
- HIGH-SPEED CRAFT DEBUT

Water jet fast attack craft INS Chetlat was launched in the city on Tuesday at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE).

The high-speed ship will stay close to the coastline and be used mainly for patrolling and rescue operations, said navy officers. The vessel — launched by Beena Suthan, the wife of vice-admiral R.P. Suthan — has been named after the northern-most island of Lakshwadeep.

This is the second in a series of 10 water jet fast attack craft of the Indian Navy being built at GRSE. The first ship — INS Carnicobar —was launched on November 23.

“The ships can attain speed up to 35 knots and are ideal for patrol and rescue. India has a long coastline that needs to be closely monitored,” said Rear Admiral T.S. Ganeshan, the chairman and managing director of GRSE.

The new ships are different from the conventional propeller-based craft, 37 of which are with the navy and the Coast Guard, said a GRSE official. “They have a water jet unit coupled with three latest-generation engines, capable of producing 8,160 kw (11,238 hp) of power.”

“INS Chetlat has modern weaponry and communications systems and an indigenously developed 30-mm gun on the forepeak,” said Rear Admiral Ganeshan. “The ships have submarine warfare capability and are not vulnerable themselves.”

The 80-year-old main unit of GRSE, where the launch was held, will soon be dismantled for modernisation under a Rs 400-crore plan.

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