June 15, 2011:
This month, India put the eighth of ten Car Nicobar FACs (Fast Attack Craft) into service. Built for patrolling hundreds of kilometers from land along India's 7,500 kilometers of coastline, these ships are currently much in demand to deal with pirates. These 600 ton ships are 49 meters (152 feet) long, have a top speed of 63 kilometers an hour and are armed with a 30mm autocannon, shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles, two 12.7mm machine-guns and small arms (assault rifles and light machine-guns). The ship has crew of 42, uses water jet propulsion (for precise maneuvering) and can stay at sea for about a week at a time. Crew quarters are air conditioned. Cruising speed is 22-24 kilometers an hour.
These ships are seen as well suited for anti-piracy operations, now that Somali pirates have been caught prowling close to the west coast of India. These ships have already had several successful encounters with Somali pirates.