Warship set to complete its road journey

The Decommissioned Fast Attack Craft (IN FAC) T-81 being transported on a multi-axle trailer to the Alappuzha beach from Kommady on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Suresh Alleppey

After some delay, the decommissioned Fast Attack Craft (IN FAC) T-81, which the Indian Navy has allotted to the Port Museum under the Alappuzha Heritage Project, will reach Alappuzha beach in the early hours of Saturday.

The vessel was brought to Kommady in Alappuzha from Thanneermukkom on a 106-wheel multi-axle trailer earlier this month. Its forward journey was delayed following concerns over transporting the heavy load through the elevated portion of the Alappuzha bypass road.

Train traffic blocked

After authorities denied permission for the journey through the bypass road, it was decided to take the vessel through Alappuzha town. On Friday morning, the trailer travelled through Kalapura, Arattupuzha, and Shavakottapalam before reaching railway level cross 64 (Cullen level cross) before evening. Railways would block train traffic for a few hours in the night for the trailer to cross the level cross.

P.M. Noushad, managing director, Muziris Spice Route Heritage Project, said the vessel would reach its final destination in front of the Port museum, near the beach, before Saturday morning.

The FAC T-81 was commissioned into the Indian Navy in June 1999. The 25-metre-long ship has a displacement of 60 tonnes and could attain a maximum speed of 45 knots (85 kmph). It could cover a range of 600 nautical miles. Fitted with OERLIKON 20 mm gun with Typhoon system, its hydrodynamic design and state-of-the-art machinery gave the vessel optimum utilisation of power and suitability for shallow water operations. The ship, which was attached to Western Naval Command, had performed a wide variety of roles including surveillance, reconnaissance, coordinated search and rescue operations and high-speed interception of small craft. After decommissioning, the FAC T-81 was towed to Kochi in May 2021.

Museum’s exhibits

The Port Museum, being set up by renovating godowns close to the old port office, near the Alappuzha beach, will have a dedicated section for the Indian Navy. The museum will showcase the State’s rich maritime history, especially the story of the Alappuzha port, including its formation, growth as a commercial hub of the erstwhile State of Travancore, and the decline towards the fag end of the 20th century. It will have details of all ancient ports that existed in the State. Besides, artefacts from countries that had trade links with the State through the ancient ports, materials collected from the port sites, miniature models of important ships that had called at the Alappuzha port and so on will be exhibited.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 5:00:00 PM |

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