The Indian Navy added two new surface units to its fleet with the launch of Water Jet Fast Attack Crafts (WJFAC) INS Cinque and INS Cheriyam at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) facilities at the Kidderpore Docks here. The warships are the third and fourth of a 10-ship Car Nicobar class of ships which will be delivered to the Navy by October 2010.
They cost Rs50 crore apiece.
The first two ships in this series, INS Car Nicobar and INS Chetlat were launched in November 2007 and are currently at the fitting-out stage. They will be commissioned into the navy in November 2008. The INS Chetlat has been named after the northern-most island of Lakshwadeep.
INS Cinque, named after an island sanctuary in the Andamans, and INS Cheriyam, named after an islet in Lakshadweep, are an improved version of the older Fast Attack Crafts in service with the navy. These aircraft have speeds in excess of 35 knots, and have been designed in-house by the GRSE.
According to vice admiral BS Randhawa, India's vast coastline and island territories demand extensive patrolling and monitoring and WJFAC were the best suited for the purpose. "They have very high speed and long endurance. These ships are extremely useful for patrolling especially in coastal waters in the island territory of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep. As well as in areas like the sea-lanes between India and Sri Lanka," he said.
The ships will be fitted with CRN-91 gun along with sensors. The 48.90-metre long ship has a moulded depth of four metres with a designed speed of 35 knots. The ship has an endurance of 2000 nautical miles at 12-14 knots speed.
The new ships are different from the conventional propeller-based craft, 37 of which are with the navy and the Coast Guard, according to GRSE officials. ''They have a water jet unit coupled with three latest-generation engines, capable of producing 8,160 kw (11,238 hp) of power,'' officials said. The patrol boats are armed with modern weaponry and communications systems and carry an indigenously developed 30-mm gun on the forepeak.
The ships also have submarine warfare capability.