M'lore receives its second hovercraft ACV H-198

The Indian Coast Guard Hovercraft H-198, the third series of Air Cushion vehicle (ACV) built in UK arrived at Panambur Beach on Monday. With this, two hovercraft will be stationed at Mangalore.

The 21-metre long ACV with 31 tons of displacement can achieve maximum speed of 45 knots (90KM/H). It is capable of undertaking multifarious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and rendering assistance to small boats/craft’s etc at sea.

Addressing  media persons, Karnataka Coast Guard Commander DIG Rajmani Sharma said that the new hovercraft H-198 and previous hovercraft H-196 will help to extend patrolling in coastal Karnataka, Goa and parts of Kerala. Along with this, Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Amarthya will be commissioned in the first week of November in Goa. ICGS Saamarth will be added to the Coast Guard after the completion of jetty work in Mangalore.

 Along with hovercrafts, ships and Chetak helicopters, the Coast Guard would also get a vessel in the long run, he said.  Sharma said that the Coast Guard is ready to tackle problems like oil spills. Two immediate response vessels and aircraft carry ships are ready to manage such situation. To a query, he said that Coast Guard men keep an eye on illegal entry of boats from Pakistan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. 

Wonder vehicle

The Britain made hovercraft moves in water by skimming over the surface of the water using cushion of air created by two giant propellers at the top of the craft. It can move much faster in land as well. It is  fully armed with  machine guns and state-of-art communication and navigation equipment including radar and world wide satellite communication.

They are also equipped with life saving tools like fire extinguisher, safety bags, first aid kits etc. There will be 11 crew members on a hovercraft, he said.

Commander of H-198 Commandant Amitabh Banerjee said that though he is handling a hovercraft for the first time, he had worked as an executive officer in another craft. H-196 Commander H-196 Gul Winder Singh said that in Mangalore, two hovercrafts would cover around 30 to 40 nautical miles per day.

Coats Guards District Operational and Planning Officer Commander Commandant Rajender Singh Sapal was present.

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