With 23 New Ships, Navy Arms Itself Against 26/11-Type Attacks

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The primary role of these ships will be to protect India's offshore assets like the Bombay High oil drilling platform run by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).


The Indian Navy is better prepared to handle 26/11-type attacks on Mumbai after commissioning the last of 23 Immediate Support Vessels, or small ships armed with machine guns and capable of high speed chases.

The vessels, named T 48, T 49 and T 50, are part of a plan put in place after the three-day siege in Mumbai in 2006 by 10 terrorists who attacked prominent landmarks.

Of the 23 ships, 17 are based in Mumbai for the protection of Bombay High oil drilling platforms. Six are based in Vishakhapatnam for the protection of the Krishna-Godavari Basin.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Vice-Admiral SPS Cheema, chief of the Western Naval Command said, "When a few years back the 26/11 took place, it was a horrible experience.  It changed the approach to coastal security and that is when we looking at smaller vessels for patrolling and guarding our offshore assets."

"Given the flourishing terror breeding grounds in our immediate neighbourhood, these are good assets. They may look small but carry great punch," added Rear Admiral Muralidhar Pawar.

The primary role of these ships will be to protect India's offshore assets like the Bombay High oil drilling platform run by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

The Regional Group Manager of the oil major, S Gopinath told NDTV, "ONGC has funded these immediate support vessels and in addition to our own installations these vessels will secure our western coast including cities like Mumbai."

Most of these ships have been built in India and delivered two months ahead of schedule. The chairman of SHM Group, the company that built many of these ships, Saifuddin Hajee, said, "We delivered these vessels two months ahead of schedule and we learnt from countries like Korea and Japan on how to do it. Serving the nation is our religion."
 


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