New Delhi: India has signed a deal worth over Rs300 crore to procure 80 fast-interception craft (FICs) from a Sri Lankan unit of a Dubai-based firm to equip the Indian Navy's upcoming Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB). The coastal patrol force was raised after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
A Rs300 crore contract for these 80 boats was signed with the Sri Lanka-based SOLAS Marine about three weeks ago. The boats are scheduled for delivery over the next three years, Navy officials said.
The Sri Lanka-based firm was selected in June this year after a global tendering process by the Navy.
Solas is a Dubai-based firm, the Sri Lanka unit of which will be manufacturing these boats.
These 80 FICs will be in addition to 15 similar boats being acquired from French shipyard Chantier Naval Couach, three of which have already been inducted at Mumbai.
With 1,000 well-armed personnel, the SPB will be tasked with the protection of naval and other assets, bases and harbours on both west and east coasts. It was one of the steps announced by the government after 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai.
FICs are small boats, with a crew of five to seven sailors, top speeds of 40 to 50 knots and are equipped with light machine guns.