Brown Wa­ter Navy’s Killer Boats

Coun­tries who do not need a full-fledged navy find FAcs a suit­able in­ex­pen­sive op­tion in lieu of navy. they are very ef­fec­tive in coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ist threats, pre­vent­ing smug­gling, anti-piracy and poach­ing of sea/coastal re­sources.


Coun­tries who do not need a full-fledged navy find FACs a suit­able in­ex­pen­sive op­tion in lieu of navy. They are very ef­fec­tive in coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ist threats, pre­vent­ing smug­gling, anti-piracy and poach­ing of sea/ coastal re­sources. Lt Gen­eral Naresh Chand (Retd)

FAst At­tAcK crAFts (FAcs) are small, fast and highly ma­noeu­vrable boats which are armed and used for pa­trolling in prox­im­ity of the coast. they can be very useful in re­gions where the sea be­tween coun­tries is nar­row and within the range of a FAc like be­tween north and south Korea, and in the Per­sian Gulf off the coast of iran. it is es­sen­tial for them to have ef­fec­tive nav­i­ga­tion and sur­veil­lance means to be able to move and chase rogue el­e­ments in a fast chang­ing threat and sea en­vi­ron­ment. it is es­sen­tial for them to be armed so that they can take in­stant puni­tive ac­tion. nor­mally they are armed so that they can take in­stant puni­tive ac­tion if re­quired in­stead of ask­ing for armed as­sis­tance which may be late. their size can vary from 50-800 tonnes and speed of 25-50 knots. coun­tries who do not need a full-fledged navy find FAcs a suit­able in­ex­pen­sive op­tion in lieu of navy. they are very ef­fec­tive in coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ist threats, pre­vent­ing smug­gling, anti-piracy and poach­ing of sea/coastal re­sources. they are also ideal for polic­ing du­ties by the river po­lice and coast guard. north Korea and iran has the largest num­ber such craft.

ear­lier ver­sions were the tor­pedo and mis­sile boats which were em­ployed to carry out sur­prise at­tack on sail­ing ships, ships in har­bour and other tar­gets like fuel/am­mu­ni­tion dumps near the har­bour. there are many ver­sions and nomen­cla­ture like fast in­ter­cep­tion craft, fast pa­trol craft and so on, de­pend­ing upon the role. erst­while Soviet Union was the first to de­sign and build mis­sile boats which were al­most 200 tonnes in dis­place­ment and had a speed more than 30 knots. it had radars and mis­siles, and could vir­tu­ally shoot and scoot. one ex­am­ple is of the in­dian navyÕs dev­as­tat­ing at­tack on Karachi har­bour dur­ing de­cem­ber 1971, in which its Vidyut class mis­sile boats (in­dian ver­sion of osA class boats of soviet ori­gin) de­stroyed half of Pak­istanÕs navy and their fuel re­serves with ss-n-2A styx anti-ship mis­sile.

Is­rael’s Su­per Dvora FAC

the su­per dvora series of pa­trol and at­tack boats FAcs are man­u­fac­tured by the ramta divi­sion of is­rael Aerospace in­dus­tries (IAI). The first Mk-III were con­tracted by the is­rael navy in 2013. Mk-iii are suc­ces­sor to dabur, dvora, shapirit, and su­per dvora Mark-i and Mark-ii boats. they are the lat­est boats wa­ter­jet-pow­ered fast pa­trol craft. the su­per dvora Mk-iii pa­trol boats are de­ployed in mis­sions such as off­shore pa­trol, law en­force­ment, naval in­tel­li­gence, com­mand and con­trol, in­ter­dic­tion and board­ing of sus­pect tar­gets, and protection of ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone (eeZ). its non­mil­i­tary ap­pli­ca­tions in­clude search and res­cue (sAr), hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance and dis­as­ter re­lief. the MKiii in­cor­po­rates an alu­minium hull, whose ge­om­e­try en­ables sta­bil­ity in the sea at all speeds. the op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­ity of the boat is en­hanced by in­cor­po­rat­ing a range of ca­pa­bil­i­ties in a sin­gle plat­form.

the mod­u­lar de­sign ac­cepts a wide range of pay­loads for con­duct­ing pa­trol or com­bat mis­sions and en­sures the in­te­grated mod­u­lar de­sign ac­cepts a wide range of pay­loads for con­duct­ing pa­trol or com­bat mis­sions and en­sures the in­te­gra­tion of mod­u­lar sys­tems for fu­ture re­quire­ments. the high-sus­tained speeds and im­proved sea-keep­ing abil­i­ties al­low sta­bil­ity in brown and blue wa­ter op­er­a­tions. the boat is ca­pa­ble of in­ter­cept­ing tar­gets at speeds near­ing 50 kt. it has a dis­place­ment of up to 72 tonnes and ac­com­mo­date a crew of 12. the boat can carry ad­vanced sta­bilised pre­ci­sion naval weapon sys­tems and sen­sors for en­emy en­gage­ment dur­ing day and night, in all weather con­di­tions. it is mounted with a rafael ty­phoon sta­bilised 25mm can­non aimed by PoP-300 day/night mast-mounted op­tronic pay­load.

the ves­sel can be ad­di­tion­ally armed with op­tional weapon sys­tems, in­clud­ing long-range mis­sile launch­ing sys­tem and short-range mis­siles, such as Hell­fire sur­face-to-sur­face mis­siles. it can be in­te­grated with mod­ern sen­sors, com­mand and con­trol sys­tems in­clud­ing in­telli- gence gath­er­ing and self-de­fence suites. the su­per dvora Mk-iii is avail­able with a choice of propul­sion sys­tems, such as the lat­est ar­tic­u­lat­ing sur­face drives (Asd) or wa­ter­jet propul­sion.

the Asd sys­tem en­ables op­er­a­tions in ex­tremely shal­low wa­ter at min­i­mal drafts of 1.2 m and also en­ables the op­er­a­tors to proac­tively steer the pro­pel­lers, pro­vid­ing the craft with thrust vec­tor­ing con­trol which is akin to many ad­vanced fighter jet air­craft be­ing used cur­rently. it has two MTU-type 12v396 TE94 diesels driv­ing two ar­tic­u­lated sur­face drives pro­vide a max­i­mum range of 1,500 nau­ti­cal miles at eco­nomic speed. the in­dian navy also has su­per dvora class of FAcs.

Swedish FAC Com­bat Boat 90

swedish FAc com­bat Boat (cB) 90 is de­vel­oped by dock­stavarvet and can per­form the role of force protection, coun­ter­ing en­emy fast boats and also deal­ing with threats on land. Fu­ture de­sign will en­able them to carry limited troops for am­phibi­ous op­er­a­tions. it can also be used for peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions and as a float­ing am­bu­lance.

the cB90 is a fast and ag­ile boat. itÕs light­weight, shal­low draught, and twin wa­ter­jets al­low it to op­er­ate at speeds of up to 40 knots in shal­low coastal wa­ters. the wa­ter jets are par­tially ducted, which, along with un­der­wa­ter con­trol sur­faces, sim­i­lar to a sub­marineÕs div­ing planes, al­lows the cB90 to ex­e­cute ex­tremely sharp turns at high speed, de­cel­er­ate from top speed to a full stop in 2.5 boat lengths, and ad­just its pitch and roll an­gle while un­der way. cB90 HS has a dis­place­ment of 20,500 kg when full and has a length of 15.9 m. it car­ries an ar­ma­ment of 2 × Brown­ing M2HB ma­chine guns, 1 × Mk 19 grenade launcher/ .50 M2HB / M134D mini-gun or RWS tur­ret on the mast and 4 naval mines or 6 depth charges. Ad­di­tion­ally, the cB90 H can also carry 2.8 tonnes of mines or the mod­i­fied Hell­fire-type RBS 17 SSM sys­tem. Us has shown in­ter­est in these boats for their brown wa­ter op­er­a­tions and are in ser­vice with many coun­tries. the cB90s, can be op­er­ated from the davits of as­sault ships. The Strb 90 HS is ar­moured and can be made nBc pro­tected. Fu­ture plans are to make them a more pow­er­ful pa­trol as­set, have a role in pro­vid­ing fire­power sup­port to spe­cial forces raids on en­emy coast­line.

Rap­tor (Project 03160) High-Speed Pa­trol Boat, Rus­sia

the rap­tor (Project 03160) high-speed pa­trol boats are de­signed and be­ing built by open Jsc Pella ship­yard based in Len­ingrad, rus­sia. the boat can be de­ployed in a wide range of mis­sions, in­clud­ing pa­trolling, search-and-res­cue, anti-sab­o­tage and anti-ter­ror­ism. it has a max­i­mum length of 17m and can trans­port up to 20 crew mem­bers of dis­tressed ships or air­craft and has the abil­ity to in­ter­cept and ar­rest light ships. the rus­sian navy has pro­cured eight boats for the Black sea Fleet. Ar­mour pan­els fit­ted on the hull pro­vide level 5 and 5A protection against bul­lets. the 39mm-thick bul­let­proof glass win­dows of­fer bal­lis­tic protection for the oc­cu­pants. it is pow­ered by a 2,000 hp en­gine, the rap­tor pa­trol boat can reach a top speed of ap­prox­i­mately 50 knots. it can ex­e­cute mis­sions in a ra­dius of 160 km (100 miles) from its op­er­at­ing base. the boat is ca­pa­ble of op­er­at­ing in coastal wa­ters, es­tu­ar­ies and straits both dur­ing day and at night.

In­dian Per­spec­tive

Fall out the 26/11 ter­ror­ist at­tack on Mum­bai was to boost up the coastal se­cu­rity and one as­pects was to raise a spe­cial force for the in­dian navy equipped with FAc. this force was named sa­gar Pra­hari Bal (sPB), com­pris­ing of 1,000 per­son­nel and equipped with 80 fast in­ter­cep­tion crafts (Fic). the process of rais­ing a fully equipped sPB is on the since 2009. Fic and FAc are sim­i­lar in role and de­sign. these boats were to be made in in­dia ex­cept for some which are be­ing ac­quired from a sriLankan ship­yard oth­er­wise they are mainly be­ing built at the Gar­den reach ship­builders and en­gi­neers Ltd (Grse) in Kolkata, Goa ship­yard Ltd. (GsL) and L&t ship­yard near chen­nai.

GRSE. three fol­low-on wa­ter­jet fast at­tack craft namely ins tar­mugli, ins

tilan­chang and ins tihayu were launched dur­ing June 2015. The first two FAcs INS tar­mugli and tihayu have al­ready been com­mis­sioned this year. ins tar­mugli is the first fol­low-on wa­ter jet fast at­tack craft (WJFAc), built by Grse and is an im­proved ver­sion of WJFAc, con­structed ear­lier by Grse. the wa­ter­jet FAc are pow­ered by the lat­est 4,000-series of MTU en­gines, along with ad­vanced ma­chin­ery con­trol sys­tem and wa­ter­jets and can at­tain a max­i­mum speed of 35 knots. these fol­low on FAcs have higher power gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity of 280 kW, en­hanced ca­pac­ity of ro plant from 2 tonnes per day (tPd) to 4 TPD among many other fea­tures as com­pared to the WJFAL al­ready in ser­vice. it is named af­ter an is­land in the An­daman group, the 320-tonne ship with a length of 48 m. The FAc is manned by four of­fi­cers and 41 sailors. The in­dige­nously con­ceived, de­signed and built ship is ca­pa­ble of op­er­at­ing in shal­low wa­ters at high speeds and is equipped with en­hanced fire­power. For car­ry­ing out ex­tended coastal and off­shore sur­veil­lance and pa­trolling, it is fit­ted with ad­vanced MtU en­gines, wa­ter­jet propul­sion and lat­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment. the ships ar­ma­ment con­sists of a 30mm crn 91 gun man­u­fac­tured by the ord­nance Fac­tory in Medak. other FAcs are un­der con­struc­tion and will be com­mis- sioned shortly. An elec­tronic day-night fire con­trol sys­tem namely sta­bilised op­tronic Pedestal fire con­trol sys­tem man­u­fac­tured by Bharat elec­tron­ics Limited con­trols the gun. the ship is also equipped with two 12.7mm heavy ma­chine guns and mul­ti­ple medium ma­chine guns, be­sides shoul­der­launched igla sur­face-to-air mis­siles.

Goa Ship­yard Limited. FAc Mis­sile craft be­ing built at GsL is meant for de­struc­tion of en­emy war­ships and land­ing crafts on the open sea. the hull is made of spe­cial, light­weight, Ms and alu­minium al­loy sheets. it is pro­pelled by gas tur­bines to make it a fast and swift craft. it has an ar­ray of weapons to de­liver lethal punches to en­emy. Ad­vanced weapons and ad­di­tional so­phis­ti­cated elec­tron­ics make this ves­sel unique than the other ves­sels. A dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture of the ves­sel is that it is fit­ted with an in­dige­nously de­vel­oped gun and a very pre­cise fire con­trol sys­tem. More of in­dige­nous equip­ment and fit­tings have been in­stalled. they have a max­i­mum length of 56.9 m, over­all breath at deck is 11.5 me­tres, dis­place­ment is 477 tonnes, max­i­mum speed is 35-40 knots and has an en­durance of about 2,649 km.

L&T. the global ship­ping in­dus­try was boom­ing in 2007 and the reg­u­lar ship­build­ing coun­tries like Ja­pan, south Korea and china found dif­fi­cult to cope up. That is the time when many in­dian ship­yards joint the race in­clud­ing L&t, in­di­aÕs biggest en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion firm. With a ship­yard at Kat­tupalli near chen­nai. L&t has won some con­tracts for build­ing off­shore ves­sels for the In­dian coast Guard, float­ing dock for the in­dian navy and FAcs. the Kat­tupalli yard started build­ing ships in 2012 but by then the global ship­ping in­dus­try slumped due to the melt­down in global econ­omy. Af­ter 26/11 ter­ror­ist at­tack the surge for FAcs re­quire­ment have gone up. L&t is among the four pri­vate lo­cal ship­builders that have a per­mit from the gov­ern­ment to build war­ships. the other yards are ABG ship­yard Ltd, Bharti ship­yard Ltd, Pi­pavav de­fence and off­shore en­gi­neer­ing co. Ltd. (now re­liance de­fence and en­gi­neer­ing Limited). L&tÕs FAc has a speed of about 45 knots and length of 25-29 m. It is un­der­stood that 29 are on order for the In­dian coast Guard (fi­nally about 36) and more or­ders will fol­low. As per Wikipedia the craft has a dis­place­ment of 90 tonnes, has full alu­minium-al­loy hull is pow­ered by twin wa­ter­jet propul­sion sys­tems to en­able quick re­sponse. The ves­sels are fit­ted with state-of-the-art nav­i­ga­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment and medium-range ar­ma­ment. each ves­sel is pow­ered by two cater­pil­lar Marine Power sys­tems 3516c marine propul­sion en­gines (2,525 bkW @ 1,800 rpm, ‘D’ Rat­ing) and two c-4.4 aux­il­iary gen­er­a­tor sets (86 eKW @ 1,500 rpm). the ves­sel’s crew con­sists of one of­fi­cer and 11 per­son and the com­mis­sion­ing started in 2012. Sri LankaÕs So­las Marine Lanka Pri­vate Limited. the FAcs built by them can do speeds up to 45 knots and have an en­durance of 200 nau­ti­cal miles at 15 knots. they can carry a va­ri­ety of ar­ma­ment from heavy ma­chine guns to grenade launch­ers. the up­per deck canopies are bul­let proof. The ver­sa­tile ves­sels are fit­ted with mod­ern nav­i­ga­tional aids and com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment in­clud­ing au­to­matic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem and long-range acous­tic de­viceÑ an anti piracy de­vice. SP

It is es­sen­tial for fast at­tack crafts to have ef­fec­tive nav­i­ga­tion and sur­veil­lance means to be able to move and chase rogue el­e­ments in a fast chang­ing threat and sea en­vi­ron­ment

(Top) Su­per Dvora Mk-III; (above) INS Tar­mugli joins the In­dian Navy

PHO­TO­GRAPHS: Wikipedia, In­dian Navy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.