In a bid to strengthen maritime security, the Indian Navy today commissioned three Immediate Support Vessels (ISVs) constituting the 83rd ISV Squadron at the naval dockyard of the Eastern Naval Command here.
The exercise is the part of a plan to induct a total of 23 ISVs in the Navy including nine in the Eastern Naval Command.
"The ISVs -- T-35, T-36 and T-37 -- were sorely required and were in the pipeline for a while. These will prove very useful for maintaining coastal security in the eastern seaboard especially that there is an increase in installations conducting oil and natural gas exploration activities in the region," Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief of ENC, said during commissioning of the ships.
The ISVs have been designed and built by the Abu Dhabi Ship Builders (ADSB) and Rodman 78, Spain and the project was a joint collaboration between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd, ADSB and the Indian Navy.
"The ISVs were brought to Mumbai first for acceptance and after that they travelled 1,200 nautical miles from Mumbai to Visakhapatnam for 14 days before getting commissioned at the Eastern Naval command," he said, adding that the ISVs proved their sturdiness as they crossed successfully the Strait of Malacca facing strong winds at high seas.
The ISVs are fitted with two caterpillar engines of 1600 HP each to provide water jet propulsion which provides the vessels a high speed of 40 knots and an endurance of 500 nautical miles.
"The crafts are capable of carrying out day and night surveillance and can be used for rapid insertions/extraction of MARCOS for military interventions," Chopra said.