The Indian Navy on Tuesday inducted three Immediate Support Vessels (ISVs) to its fleet to strengthen coastal security.
The three ISV vessels, commissioned off the naval dockyard in Mumbai, would be used to fight militant attack and also protect the offshore development areas like Mumbai High, Panna-Mukta oil fields and Tapti gas field.
The Indian Navy has 23 ISVs with six at eastern sea board where the Krishna-Godavari (KG Basin) and Cauvery basin offshore development areas are located. The remaining 17, including the present three will be patrolling on the western coast.
Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy, Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema said the need to strengthen coastal security has grown since the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
"A few years back, Mumbai attack on Taj and Trident took place, it was a harrowing experience. It was a change over type of problems we are likely to witness at sea. It was a change in the approach of war, war has to be fought. At that particular time, we started looking in for smaller vessels which could patrol our (not clear)," said Vice Admiral Cheema.
The ISVs have heavy machine guns as their main weapons and a light machine gun apart from small arms and rifles. The vessels will investigate suspicious fishing boats in the areas where they will be patrolling.
These vessels also carry smaller boats which can be used for rescue and search operations. The ISVs move at the speed of 40 knots per hour (around 75 km per hour) and will have a crew of one officer and six sailors.
These boats can patrol for around five days at a stretch.