The Border Security Force (BSF) Kutch has received four new fast attack crafts (FAC) to guard marshy creeks at Kutch-Pakistan border.
The boats that arrived three days back are currently in testing phase in the creek areas by the water wing of the BSF.
BSF IGP Santosh Mehra commissioned the boats at Kutch.
According to the BSF officials, the American made FAC can cover over a distance of one kilometer in 15 to 20 seconds with speed ranging between 30 to 35 nautical miles. The crafts are response vessels that can respond to any suspicious activity observed or on receipt of input specially in anti-terrorist operations.
The FAC are bullet proof and are fitted with arms at the hull. They are equipped with latest stealth technology that enhances operations at the water by minimizing reflections of radar, infrared or visible lights that alarm the enemies. The crafts have navigation and communication, night vision mechanism and technology to coordinate with the border outposts on ground and floating border outposts.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had started the procurement of the American FAC in 2012, however, after a prolonged tendering and purchase, the boats have arrived this month.
The crafts are useful for surveillance, intelligence gathering, patrol, interdiction and engagement of enemy forces, the officials added.
In comparison to the fast patrol boats with twin engines that consume around 100 litres of fuel, the FAC consume 300 litres of diesel, the officials said.
The BSF in Gujarat has around 25 fast patrol boats that are used by the Creek Commandos and the water wing of the BSF. Besides, the fast patrol boats, the BSF has around six All Terrain Vehicles that operate both in land and water.
A senior BSF official at 1175 border outpost (last pillar of India-Pakistan border) said, “The fast patrol boats that have speed of 25 nautical miles perform well in Gujarat’s creek areas. However, these boats make a lot of noise that alert the intruders or infiltrators. In cases of specific input related operations, the patrol boats can help in limited manner, however, with the FAC that have less signal-to-noise ratio, the operation can be discreet and twice faster as these crafts can move in shallow waters”.
The 1175 border outpost mans the disputed Sir Creek and Harami Nala at the Gujarat-Pakistan border. The fast attack crafts would be stationed at Sir Creek and Harami Nala.
The BSF personnel monitor three major creeks, the disputed Sir Creek, Kori Creek and Padala Creek spread across 4,000 square kilometers out of the 22,000 square kilometer of the marshy area of Rann-of-Kutch in Gujarat.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines