The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has taken delivery of the 12th and final 8000TD hovercraft of a batch ordered in 2011 under a GBP32 million (USD51.1 million) procurement contract with UK-based manufacturer Griffon Hoverwork.
Following on from six similar units that were built in 2000-01 (two at Griffon’s Southampton facility, and four by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata), delivery of the craft brings to 18 the number of medium-lift 8000TD air cushion vehicles now in ICG service.
The last of the 21.3 m-long, 25 tonne (full load displacement) craft was delivered to Mumbai on 5 September 2014, a Griffon marketing executive told IHS Jane’s . Build of the craft was completed five months ahead of schedule.
“The 8000TD has an average lifespan of 20 years, with thorough and regular disciplined maintenance; so we are expecting at least another five years’ service out of the older craft”, the executive said.
Other operators include the Republic of Korea Coast Guard, whose Griffon fleet includes three 8000TDs, and the Saudi Arabian Border Guard, which has five craft each equipped with bow ramps and stowage space for a small 4×4 utility vehicle.