Today, the Indian Navy commissioned an improved variant of the lightly armed Car Nicobar-class high-speed offshore patrol vessel, the INS Tarmugli, at ceremony held at Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, according to statement provided by the Indian Ministry of Defense.
“INS Tarmugli is being based in Visakhapatnam under the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh) and would be deployed for coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast of India,” the statement reads.
The 320-ton Tarmugli is the first out of four improved Car Nicobar-class high-speed offshore patrol vessels—dubbed Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) by the IN–ordered under a March 2013 contract awarded to Kolkata-based shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE). Construction of the vessel began in July 2013. The craft was launched in June 2015, along with two other ships of the class.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
The Tarmugli boasts improved maneuverability and speed in order to facilitate the interdiction of fast-moving naval targets. “Built for extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrol the warship is fitted with advanced MTU engines, water jet propulsion and the latest communication equipment,” according to the Indian defense ministry.
“The propulsion system consists of three Hamilton waterjets driven by three MTU 4000 series engines through ZF gearboxes. MTU’s MCS-5 machinery control system is also installed. Top speed is approximately 35 knots, while range is about 2,000 nautical miles at 12-14 knots,” IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly explains.
The Car Nicobar-class ships are designed to be cost-effective platforms for patrolling India’s Exclusive Economic Zone and intercepting suspicious vessels. Ships of the class have also been deployed in anti-piracy operations. “The ship is capable of operating in shallow waters at high speeds and is equipped with enhanced fire power,” the ministry notes.
However, the Tarmugli remains a lightly armed vessel in comparison to other warships of the Indian Navy. “The ships armament consists of a 30 mm CRN 91 gun manufactured by Ordnance Factory Medak. An electronic day-night fire control system namely Stabilized Optronic Pedestal (SOP) manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) controls the gun,” the statement reads. “The ship is also equipped with two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns (HMG) and multiple medium machine guns, besides shoulder-launched Igla surface-to-air missiles to combat aerial threats.”
The Tarmugli is manned by a crew of four officers and 41 sailors.
The ships of the Car Nicobar-class, named after an island in the Andaman group, are the first water-jet propelled vessels in the Indian Navy. So far the Indian Navy is operating 11 vessels of the class and is expecting to commission three more ships in the near future. Production of the vessels was sped-up after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.