Highly capable vessels with speeds of up to 45 knots and an endurance of 200 nautical miles at 15 knots, the first four fast interception crafts have recently been delivered to the southern command of the Indian Navy. Another 76 are currently under construction.
Operated by the Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB), a unit of the Indian Navy formed in 2009, the boats will be used to patrol the waters of Ezhimala and the islands of Kavaratti, Minicoy and Androth off the Kerala coast. Apart from guarding naval assets and strategic installations while patrolling the seafront, the SPB will conduct search and rescue operations in case of emergency, thus requiring vessels capable of high speed.
Built by the Sri Lankan Solas Marine Lanka Private Ltd, the new boats were constructed using an advanced composite design. As experts in the field of composites, and supported by Dubai-based engineering firm Team One, Composites Consulting Group (CCG) was engaged to work on the vessels’ structural engineering. Providing on-site training for the Solas staff, CCG planned the set-up for the project delivery. CCG staff was present throughout the construction of the first boat, ensuring that the Solas team was completely confident with the infusion technique used. Air-conditioned facilities, especially built for the purpose, ensured full control during the process.
Since the boat construction required a number of different core types, as well as special processing finish, the team decided to use advanced Diab cores. All the materials for the main components, such as hull, deck and cabin, were made with infusion technique. With a high ratio of glass fiber to resin, this procedure resulted in a light, yet extremely strong structure.
The versatile boats were built according to the classification system of the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS). Providing third-party technical inspection and certification services for different kinds of vessels and structures, the IRS is an internationally recognized, independent society for ship classification. As this was the first time such advanced vessels were built according to these rules and regulations, the joint team of CCG, Team One and Solas had to work closely with the IRS to have the materials and design continuously approved.
Meeting the tough IRS requirements as well as the sometimes demanding conditions of the Indian coastline, the delivered vessels have excellent sea-keeping and dynamic stability capability even at high speed, making them the perfect tools for the SPB.