The Hovercraft H-194 is expected to play a major role in the operations of the Indian Coast Guard in the coming days in protecting the coast of the country.
Addressing media persons, captain of the Hovercraft Sandeep Safaya said that H-194 was part of the third series of Hovercrafts commissioned at Mumbai by inspector general S P S Basra, commander of coast guard region (west) on December 13, 2013.
Hovercrafts, designed and manufactured by Griffon Hoverwork, Britain, are air cushion vehicles. After additional facilities and changes required by the Coast Guard are affected, this Hovercraft will be stationed here. For the Hovercraft to operate on the Mangalore coast, it will require facilities like hovercraft hangers, a workshop for undertaking repairs, bunkering and concrete surface projecting into the sea. All of this will require 15 acres of land at Tannirbavi, the acquisition process for which is on.
Hovercrafts use two propellers fitted above them for sucking air and enabling the vehicle to move on air cushions formed at their bottoms. They are equipped with several capabilities in line with warships.
This hovercraft, which is 21 metres in length, weighing 31 tonnes, can gain a speed of 45 nautical miles per hour. It is equipped with facilities to monitor suspicious activities, neutralize the enemies, conducting thorough inspections, rescuing of smaller boats etc. Hovercrafts can also move about on the sands of the seashore in addition to water.
The 21 mtr long ACV with 31 tons of displacement can achieve a maximum speed of 45 knots (90 kmph). It is capable of undertaking multifarious tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue, and rendering assistance to small boats/crafts at sea. The craft is capable of operation on land as well as over sea. Areas inaccessible from both sea and land can be approached by the hovercraft like marshy lands and isolated islands. The craft operates by skimming over the surface of water using a cushion of air created by two propellers fitted on top of the craft.
The hovercraft is scheduled to be based at New Mangalore in order to strengthen the coastal security along the coast of Karnataka. The hovercraft is commanded by Commandant Gulvinder Singh and is fully armed with heavy machine guns and state of art communication and navigation equipment including radar and world wide satellite communication, said Rajmani Sharma.