The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Israel ship boost to fleet

Mumbai, Oct. 9 (PTI): The Indian Navy’s coastal defence capabilities have been bolstered with the commissioning of an Israel-built ship, the fastest in its fleet.

The Indian Naval Fast Attack Craft (Infac T-82), built by the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), was commissioned today by the flag officer, commanding-in-chief, western naval command, Vice-Admiral Arun Prakash, at the naval dockyard in south Mumbai.

“With the commissioning of this craft, Indian Navy’s offensive and defensive capabilities at off-shore and in-shore areas will receive a big boost,” Prakash said.

Enduring a speed of 40 knots for 550 miles, the small ship’s night-vision device could target an adversary from 2 km in-shore, he added. The craft, whose motto is “stealth and strike”, can be used in counter-insurgency, anti-smuggling, search and rescue operations, too.

“Keeping in view the present security scenario, two stealth frigates, INS Talwar and INS Trishul, were inducted recently and, with the commissioning of this fastest craft, the youngest combatant of the navy, we have got the necessary punch,” the vice-admiral said.

Indian Navy, which inducted two fast-attack crafts in 1998, is indigenously building two more at Goa shipyard. “Five fast-attack crafts and more to come in future,” he said.

The general manager of the Israel company, Nathan Galili said the craft was built hurriedly to hand it over to the navy at an earlier date.

Infac T-82 has a state-of-the-art typhoon weapon and a unique propulsion system. A powerful engine enables it to sprint at high speeds to enhance its offensive role, Prakash said.

The craft has a very shallow draught (area below waterline) that makes it ideal for entering areas where the bigger naval vessels cannot enter.

“The fast-attack craft will also be used to protect our off-shore platforms like Bombay High,” Prakash said.

Infac T-82 is commanded by Lieutenant Sharad Aggarwal and has a crew of two officers and 12 sailors.

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