The indigenously built vessel, Kalpeni, scheduled to be commissioned next month, arrived at the Headquarters of the Southern Naval Command in Kochi on Monday.
The vessel was given a ceremonial welcome at the Command HQ. Commodore Ajay Saxena, Chief Staff Officer (Operations) was present on the occasion. The new vessel can be used mainly for search and rescue operations. The ship can also be used for naval patrol duties, detection and destruction of small and fast-moving craft and other targets, policing in the coastal region, along with anti-smuggling and fisheries protection. Captained by Lt Commander Sudhal Nathan, the ship has four officers and 38 sailors. The FAC was built at the Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The vessel makes use of water jet propulsion technology and can achieve speed in excess of 35 knots. Water jet technology has rapidly gained acceptance as the leading means of propulsion for all types of high-speed marine craft, including ferries, work boats, patrol craft and pleasure boats. The vessel is fitted with the 30-mm CRN 91 gun built by the Ordnance Factory, Medak, along with light, medium and heavy machineguns. The vessel is equipped with a reverse-osmosis technology drinking water plant and sewerage treatment plant. INS Kalpeni belongs to the Car Nicobar class in the FAC series. It is the seventh vessel in the 10 similar ships of the same class. Two other vessels in this category - INS Cankarso and INS Kondul - were recently commissioned in the Naval fleet at Visakhaptnam. The two vessels also accompanied Kalpeni to Kochi. Later, the two vessels will go to Goa. Excellent manoeuvrability, high efficiency, low maintenance, long engine life, easy installation and precise steering control are the specialities of the vessel. “The vessel, with its high speed, high manoeuvrability and ability to be in the outer sea for a long time is sure to contribute to the coastal security efforts of the Navy. Kalpeni would certainly add to the Navy’s search and rescue operations,” Lt Commander S Nathan, commanding officer of the ship, said.