Chennai: Stepping up efforts to enhance surveillance, search and rescue operations, the 11th hovercraft for the Indian Coast Guard was formally inducted into service here on Saturday.
Madras High Court Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul formally commissioned the Hovercraft, also called the Air Cushion vehicle, in the presence of Inspector General, Commander Coast Guard Region (East), Satya Prakash Sharma.
Sharma said the Hovercraft H-197 is 11th in the series of Griffon 8000TD(M), designed and built by UK-based Griffon Hoverworks Ltd. The 200-metre hovercraft displaces 30 tonnes and can hit a maximum speed of 45 knots. It is fully amphibious and powered by two industrial water cooled diesel engines.
Fitted with compact high performance inertially stabilised day and night optronic system, it is specially configured for use on hovercraft for night navigation, he said.
As part of commissioning of the vessel, the Commissioning Pennant was broken while a plaque was unveiled by Kaul on the occasion.
The commissioning of the hovercraft in the South Tamil Nadu coast would strengthen the surveillance, search and rescue operations.
It would initially be based at Chennai and later shifted to Mandapam near Tuticorin. It would be commanded by Commandant John Manoj, two officers and 11 other rank officials.
This would be the fifth Hovercraft to come under the Coast Guard Eastern region, an official said.