Guv commissions 2 hovercraft

Guv commissions 2 hovercraft

Two air cushion vehicles - also known as hovercraft (H-196 and H-198) - were commissioned at the Karnataka headquarters of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at Panambur on the outskirts of the city on Monday.

This is expected to enhance surveillance and rescue operations along the Arabian Sea coast.

Governor Vajubhai Vala commissioned the hovercraft at a ceremony here. With this, the total number of hovercraft patrolling the sea has increased to 18 in the country. The amphibious vehicle is designed to operate on land, water, ice, sand, mud or marshy land on a cushion of low-pressure area between the hovercraft’s hull and the surface below it.
ICG has designed and conceptualised these amphibious vehicles to guard maritime interests of the nation at a time when it is facing threats on the sea.

Manufactured in the United Kingdom, the 21-metre-long hovercraft will not only be used for surveillance, but also for search-and-rescue, emergency missions and to provide assistance to smaller boats at sea when the need arises.

The hovercraft, built by Griffon Hoverworks Ltd, are armed with state-of-the-art navigation, satellite communication system and medium-scale armaments to guard the 320-km-long Karnataka coastline.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, S P S Basra, Inspector General (Western Region) of the Indian Coast Guard, said the great challenge before the Coast Guard, especially in Karnataka, was to find a suitable place for berthing of its equipment.

He requested the government to hand over 25 acres of land in Karwar to the Coast Guard to establish a sub-station. The vehicles will be stationed in Panambur near the ICG headquarters till the completion of a permanent hoverport on 15 acres of land at Tannirbhavi.

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