T he Indian Navy has inducted three Fast Interceptor Craft (FIC). These are the first of fifteen FICs in an order to a French manufacturer worth around USD 13 million.
The navy has also concluded a tender process for the acquisition of 80 more FICs and has identified Solas Lanka for the supply of these craft in a USD 67 million order.
Solas is a Dubai-based firm, the Sri Lanka unit of which, will be manufacturing these boats.
While the delivery of the fifteen French FICs will be complete, the delivery of the 80 boats to be supplied by Solas is expected to be completed in around 36 months after signing of the contract, which has been finalized by the Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) of the Ministry of Defense.
These boats, the first of which were inducted into the navy in Mumbai in the last few days, are expected to bolster the coastal security mission, especially important after the 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai in 2008. There are already initial plans to deploy some of these boats with the Sagar Prahari Bal (Coastal Guard Force).
These 8-10 meter long boats carry a crew of 4-5 and are lightly-armed, capable of speeds of 45-50 knots.