‘Air Cushion Vehicles'(ACVs) acquisition request got approved by New Delhi for the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Army. The Defence Acquisition Council(DAC) granted this approval which was announced by Ministry of Defence on 7th June. The DAC is headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman.
“These vessels would offer great advantage over conventional boats [and] crafts with their ability to travel at very high speeds over shallow water, sand banks, mud flats, and swamps which are non-navigable by [the smaller vessels] due to draught restrictions [and] uncharted depths,” said the defence ministry in a statement.
“These crafts offer capability enhancement for the services, and would prove useful for amphibious [and] riverine operations, especially where there is a requirement to move men and material from one island to another island, across the riverine terrain, creeks etc,” it added.
It is still unclear from the ministry that how many vehicles will be allocated to each services. But ‘the vehicles should be acquired from an Indian Shipyard,’ added only.
About Hovercraft- The hovercraft with the length of 21.3 m can displace 25 tonnes at full load with the accommodation of a crew of 16 members. It is capable to gain a top speed of 50 kt on the water, a standard range of 400 n miles at 45 kt, and can operate up to Sea State 4.
Currently, the Indian Coast Guard have 18 working fleet of Griffon 8000 TD hovercraft, which was made up under the technical collaboration between India’s Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) and the United Kingdom’s Griffon Hoverwork which were commissioned between 2000 and 2014.