Visakhapatnam: The Indian Navy has commissioned three Immediate Support Vessels (ISVs) supplied by the UAE's Abu Dhabi Ship Builders (ADSB).
Vice Admiral Satish Soni, the Eastern Naval Command chief, who commissioned them at an impressive ceremony here on Tuesday, praised their quality and sturdiness, pointing out that they had sailed 1,200 nautical miles from Mumbai to Visakhapatnam over a duration of 12 days.
"That proved their sturdiness as the boats had crossed successfully the Gulf of Mannar facing strong winds and high seas," Vice Admiral Soni said.
The vessels were recently delivered in Mumbai on India's west coast and then brought here. The value of the contract is not known.
Built on reinforced fiberglass hulls, the ISVs are armed with heavy machine guns (HMGs) and sophisticated radars and navigation equipment for littoral warfare and defence operations, particularly against terror attempts.
The ISVs are the Indian Navy's light patrol boats, configured to carry commandos for any eventuality, according to India Strategic defence magazine (www.indiastrategic.in).
ADSB had won a tender for nine ISVs from the Indian Navy some time back and the first batch of six was delivered last year. With the delivery of the remaining
three, ADSB has successfully completed the contract, a navy spokesman told India Strategic.
The 25-meter ships are fitted with two Caterpillar engines of 1,600 MHP each to provide water jet propulsion, providing them a high speed of 40 knots and an endurance of 500 nautical miles. These ships are capable of carrying out day and night surveillance and can be used for rapid insertions/extraction of MARCOS (Indian Navy commandos) for military intervention.
Five vessels were built by ADSB itself at its Mussafah facility on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, and four by Rodman Spain under contract from ADSB. Weapons and electronic systems were integrated by ADSB.
ADSB has been building similar vessels for UAE and neighbouring countries for several years for patrolling the Gulf waters.
The three ships were given pennant numbers T-38, T-39 and T-40, and their respective commanders, Lieutenants Jai Kishore, Shobhit Saxena and Vaibhav Bhardwaj read out their commissioning warrants after they were introduced by Commodore K.A. Bopanna,
Naval Officer-in-Charge (NOIC), Andhra Pradesh area.
Notably, under the ISV Project, India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) funded acquisition of 23 ISVs for the Navy, 14 of which were indigenously built by
Mumbai-based SHM Shipcare.