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Defence Minister to hand over FAC to Maldives

Written by: Staff

Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 13 (UNI) Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee will hand over a Fast Attack Craft (FAC) to Maldivian President at a formal ceremony at Male on April 16.

The ship, INS Tillanchang would decommission from the Indian Navy to join the Maldives National Security Service (NSS), thus providing them enhanced capabilities for patrolling and monitoring their Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ), a PIB release said here today.

The ship was designed to detect, locate and destroy fast moving surface craft and for anti-smuggling, fisheries protection and search and rescue (SAR) operations. It was also capable of mobilising a naval Quick Reaction Team(QRT) of up to 35 men at short notice.

Built by GRSE, the ship of the Trinkat class was yet another manifestation of India's ship building capabilities.

The 260-ton ship is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation aids, communication and GMDSS systems, which facilitate her role-worthiness and effectiveness in operational missions, air operations, safe navigation and survival at sea.

The main armament is the indigenous 30 mm gun, manufactured by Ordnance Factory Medak, India. Two high speed boats have been provided onboard for facilitating rapid interception in shallow waters and lifesaving tasks.

Powered by MTU engines of German make, the ship with a maximum speed of 28 knots (approx 50 kmph) is capable of extended deployments up to 2000 nautical miles (3600 km).

The ship had completed five years of service in the Indian Navy and had been instrumental in safeguarding the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone. Since its inception in the Indian Navy, the ship had been employed for a number of deployments, notable amongst which had been apprehending a number of armed poachers and hostile trawlers in the EEZ, coordinated patrol with Indonesian and Thailand Navies and goodwill visits to Phuket (Thailand) and Yangon (Myanmar).

The ship, besides fulfilling its route role of providing logistics support and aid in the far-flung areas of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, rendered yeoman service during the Tsunami disaster.

The Indian Navy will also position a team of personnel for initial and on job training of the Maldives crew. The Naval band is scheduled to perform at Male and a joint concert with the NSS musicians is also planned, the release added.


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