Cost-effective, well suited for anti-smuggling operations

Water jet-propelled Fast Attack Craft (FAC) INS Kabra, eighth in a series of 10 Car Nicobar-class FACs designed and built by the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) for the Navy, was commissioned by Vice-Admiral K.N. Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, at the naval base here on Wednesday.

Vice-Admiral Sushil said smaller ships like FACs were important in tackling peacetime challenges to maritime security such as piracy and low-intensity conflicts. “INS Kalpeni [the water jet-propelled FAC commissioned under the command in October last] has extensively participated in anti-piracy operations.”

Rear Admiral (retd.) K.C. Sekhar , GRSE Chairman and Managing Director, said INS Kabra was comparable with any FAC in the world. “It is a cost-effective and fuel efficient platform well suited for anti-smuggling and anti-poaching operations. We have modified its design based on feedback from the Navy. The ninth ship in the series was delivered to the Navy on May 27 and the last will be handed over by the end of June.”

Wednesday's ceremony involved an announcement of the commissioning warrant issued by the Chief of the Naval Staff, hoisting of the naval ensign and the national flag aboard the ship to the tune of the national anthem, and breaking of the commissioning pennant.

Excellent manoeuvrability

INS Kabra has speeds in excess of 35 knots. It offers excellent manoeuvrability and is ideal for high-speed interdiction of fast-moving targets.

The ship's speed, agility and quick response will be useful in search and rescue operations. The low draught also allows the ship to operate in shallow waters close to the coast.

INS Kabra complies with the latest regulations of the International Maritime Organisation on sea pollution control.

Its main armament is a 30-mm CRN-91 gun. Also fitted with machine guns of various types and the IGLA shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, the ship has a crew of three officers and 39 sailors. It is commanded by Commander Bandhul Mishra, a specialist in missile, weapons and radar systems.

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