The Griffon 8000TD(M) has a top speed of 50 knots and a payload of 8 tonnes. Armed with a half-inch machine gun, these craft will be capable of operating in areas difficult, if not impossible, to conventional boats and will therefore significantly enhance the Indian Coast Guard’s (‘ICG’s’) operational capabilities. Operated by a crew of two (plus eight seamen) these craft will be able to lie up, perhaps hidden under trees on a beach, and dash out to intercept over land, very shallow water, sand, rocks and mud, taking the quickest straight line to intercept. Alternatively, they can patrol like conventional craft, using conventional berths, piers and pontoons as and when required.
In a unique arrangement, two of the Griffon 8000TD(M)s will be manufactured at GHL’s new boatyard in Southampton England, and four will be assembled from completely knocked-down kits (CKD’s) by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (‘GRSE’) in Calcutta, India. GRSE and GHL together won a worldwide Tender to supply these craft to the ICG, and GHL will train GRSE and ICG personnel in the operation, servicing and maintenance of these craft both in UK and India. GRSE sees many prospects for Griffon hovercraft in India and believes that local production will pave the way to several more significant sales in the future.
The unique combination of the preferred lightweight alloy hull, the two powerful 597 kW (800 h.p.) water-cooled MTU 12V183TB32 diesel engines, the large 2.6m variable-pitch propellers and the deep 1.25m skirt, gives the Griffon 8000TD(M) the best performance of any hovercraft of this size in the world.
This sale by GHL constitutes the largest order for this size of hovercraft for over 25 years, and reflects the world’s increasing interest in, and use of, amphibious hovercraft. Griffon Hovercraft Limited leads the world in the design, development, manufacture and operation of amphibious hovercraft and produces the largest range of hovercraft available in the world today.