New Delhi, Dec 10: Barracuda, the coast guard ship will be the first warship export by India. A 75 ft by 15 ft vessel, the vessel can house 20 sailors.
Designed and built by the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders, this is a small vessel by all standards, but the first major leap for India. It will be exported to Mauritius for Rs 350 Crore in the next 10 days.
Two more ships, being built at the Goa Shipyard, are in the fray to be exported to Sri Lanka.
The vessel would be used to police Mauritian waters for illegal smuggling, drug trafficking, and fishing. It is also likely to provide logistical support, including search and rescue operations.
In fact, the Barracuda will also have a feature that is first in its class-it will help in controlling oil spill.
With this, Defence warships are heading the Indian way. The Ministry of Defence has asked the Indian Navy to to identify a shipyard, which could acquire the technology from a foreign nation and build its own submarines.
This would be a marker in the Indo-Mauritian relationship, which will grow India's influence in the south-west of the Indian Ocean, giving China a tough challenge. Apart from this, it would also strengthen the ties between India and Mauritius.