Visakhapatnam: The Indian Navy on Wednesday commissioned a high-tech water jet fast attack craft, 'INS Tihayu,' which would enhance the coastal security potential of the city-headquartered Eastern Naval Command (ENC).
Vice-Admiral H C S Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the ENC, commissioned the ship, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilder and Engineers (GRSE), at the Naval Dockyard here.
Speaking on the occasion, he said the Indian Navy, with its strategic reach at one end of the spectrum and coastal security on the other, remains the net security provider in the Indian Ocean region.
Geographical imperatives require India to increasingly orient towards the seas for its own economic progress, trade and energy security needs, the Vice-Admiral said.
Keeping with the Make in India initiative, the Navy has embarked on an ambitious ship construction programme in partnership with Indian shipyards. The Navy has taken the lead amongst the three services in the indigenous content of its hardware, Bisht said.
He said INS Tihayu would enhance the coastal security potential of the city-headquartered ENC. Two stealth ships of Khamortha class are expected to join the ENC by 2017-end.
INS Tihayu, specifically built for meeting needs of extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrol, has a length of 49.9 metres and maximum breadth of 7.5 meters. Named after an island in Nicobar, the vessel has an endurance of 2,000 nautical miles at 12 to 14 knots of economical speed.
The ship, which has a 30 mm CRN 91 gun and an electronic day-night fire control system, has a crew of four officers and 41 sailors led by Commander Ajay Kashhov. It is also equipped with two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns and multiple medium machine guns besides shoulder launched air missiles to combat aerial threats.
Earlier, Bisht inspected a guard of honour, took salute and also unveiled the ship's plaque.
GRSE Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral (retd) A K Verma said his shipyard has delivered four ships – Khamortha, Khadmatt, Kharmogli and now Tihayu – to the ENC.
This was the second fast attack craft built by the company this year. Twenty ships of this class have already been delivered to the Navy, he said.
GRSE has built 98 ships so far and aims to reach the 100 mark this year, Verma said.