Kochi: India added a new warship to its fleet with the commissioning of a fast attack craft here that can aid in anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea.
The craft, INS Kabra, is named after an island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
Southern Naval Command Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Vice Admiral K.N. Sushil unveiled the commissioning pendant of the warship, with the commissioning warrant signed by navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma being read out. The naval ensign and the national flag were hoisted on board INS Kabra.
Vice Admiral Sushil underscored the importance of relatively smaller ships like fast attack craft for a blue water navy, saying the assets were an essential inventory in peacetime for low intensity conflicts and anti-piracy operations.
Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) have built the fast attack craft for the navy.
GRSE chairman and managing director Rear Admiral (retired) K.C. Shekar, in his address, said INS Kabra is a cost-effective and fuel-efficient platform. He added that certain modifications from the original design of these fast attack craft had been carried out based on inputs from the navy.
INS Kabra, like INS Kalpeni which joined Southern Naval Command in October last year, is an indigenously-designed water jet-propelled fast attack craft and is the eighth of a series built at the GRSE.
With a top speed of over 35 knots and excellent manoeuvrability offered by her water jet propulsion, the warship is ideally suited for high-speed interdiction of fast-moving targets. The craft’s speed, agility and quick response will also be useful in search and rescue operations. The low draught allows the ship to operate in shallow waters close to the coast as well.
INS Kabra complies with the latest regulations of the International Maritime Organisation on sea pollution control. The main armament of the ship is a 30mm CRN 91 gun. In addition, the ship has been fitted with machineguns of various types and shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles.
The ship has been placed under the operational and administrative control of the southern naval commander at Kochi. INS Kabra has a three-officer and 39-sailor crew and its first commanding officer is Commander Bandhul Mishra, a specialist in surface and missile weapons and radar systems. (IANS)