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October 6, 2014

India completes 8000TD hovercraft acquisition programme

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has taken delivery of the 12th and final 8000TD hovercraft of a batch ordered in 2011 under a GBP32 million (USD51.1 million) procurement contract with UK-based manufacturer Griffon Hoverwork.

Following on from six similar units that were built in 2000-01 (two at Griffon's Southampton facility, and four by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata), delivery of the craft brings to 18 the number of medium-lift 8000TD air cushion vehicles now in ICG service.

The last of the 21.3 m-long, 25 tonne (full load displacement) craft was delivered to Mumbai on 5 September 2014.

The 30 tonne H187 hovercraft, which will be carrying a crew of 15, is said to be ideal for shallow water operation and would be mostly used for patrolling in the Gulf of Kutch. It has a top speed of 45 knots and is also armed with a remote operated machine gun.

The Indian Coast Guard acquired six 8000TDs in 2001. Two of the Griffon 8000TD(M)s were manufactured at GHL’s boatyard in Southampton England, and four were assembled from completely knocked-down kits (CKD’s) by GRSE in Calcutta, India. In 2010, Griffon Hoverwork won another £34 million contract to supply the Indian Coast Guard with twelve 8000TD hovercrafts.

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