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Serpent of Sea for Indian Navy

Jan 28, 2010
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Even as the Indian Army (IA) and Indian Air Force (IAF) continue to grapple with problems in its modernising program, which is taking place at a snail’s pace, the Indian Navy (IN) continues to add new ships to its fleet.

In the latest development, the navy has commissioned two indigenously built Water Jet Propelled Fast Attack Craft (WJFACs) christened INS Cankarso and INS Kondul on Wednesday at Visakhapatnam by Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan. It may be noted that INS Shivalik had been commissioned into the fleet in April by Defence Minister A.K. Antony. The first commanding officer of the new attack crafts will be Arun Bahuguna (INS Cankarso) and Shashidhar R. Patil (INS Kondul).

Live Mint reports that the ships are fifth and sixth in the series of ten WJFACs being developed at a total cost of Rs. 617 crores for which the contract to Kolkata-based Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers was awarded in 2006.

The Hindu reports that INS Cankarso and INS Kondul, named after two islands off Goa and in Nicobar, have a displacement of 325 tons each and reach a speed of 35 knots. Each has a complement of four offices and 45 sailors. Both will be based in Goa.

Sify reports that the WJFACs are fitted with a 30-mm CRN-91 gun and Igla missiles and light and heavy machine guns, the crafts will be tasked to detect, locate and destroy small but fast-moving enemy surface craft engaged in covert operations.

However, in spite of adding new ships continuously to its fleet, IN is grappling with acute shortage in its submarine fleet. A very interesting article by DNA on the submarine crunch face by our water force.

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