Navy to induct fleet tanker on Friday

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) Expanding its strategic reach, theIndian Navy will induct a new Italy-made fleet tanker onFriday in its inventory boosting its blue-water capabilities.

The tanker christened INS Deepak, is being inducted undera 159 million Euros contract for procuring two fleet tankers,of which the second one would be inducted by the middle ofthis year, Navy officials said here.

INS Deepak and Shakti have been built in Italy by Europeandefence major Fincantieri Cantieri Navali and will join thetwo older fleet tankers, INS Jyoti and INS Aditya, beingoperated by Navy.

Fleet tankers help in extending the operational range ofnaval warships including destroyers, frigates and otherwarships to operate away from shores for longer periodswithout returning to harbour for replenishment.

With a full-load displacement of 27,500 tonnes, the175-metre long INS Deepak will be able to carry 17,900 tonnesof cargo, including 15,250 tonnes of fuel. Equipped with fourAK-630 guns, the large ship has an endurance of 10,000nautical miles at a speed of 16 knots.

Under its doctrine, the Navy has cleared its intent todevelop a maritime force with capabilities to protect itsinterests and assets in its area of influence.

The Navy has embarked on a major modernisation programmeas it has placed orders for over 40 warships with Indianshipyards, which include the six Scorpene submarines and theindigenous aircraft carrier.

Its biggest warship aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya isalso undergoing refit at a Russian aircraft and three moreTalwar-class stealth frigates are being built in Russia.

The Navy is also working on a programme for acquiring sixsubmarines under the Project-75 India and also plans toprocure Landing Platform Decks (LPDs) in the near future. PTIAJD

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