SOURCE: IDRW.ORG TEAM
In a significant move that could revolutionize amphibious operations and enhance maritime capabilities, India and the United Kingdom are engaged in talks to co-develop the next generation of super-powered hovercrafts. These amphibious landing craft have the potential to serve as versatile transport vessels for troops and equipment during amphibious operations, facilitating swift movement from ship to shore.
India’s coastal defense has been augmented by the deployment of Griffon Hoverwork 8000TD hovercrafts by the Indian Coast Guard since 2001. However, these hovercrafts were primarily assembled from complete knocked-down kits (CKDs) supplied by the manufacturer, with no local manufacturing process in place. The discussions between India and the UK aim to change this narrative by co-developing a technologically advanced and locally manufactured hovercraft that meets the evolving operational requirements of both nations.
The Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy are both actively considering the procurement of military-grade hovercrafts. While the Griffon Hoverwork 8000TD has been instrumental in augmenting India’s coastal security, the new collaborative initiative envisions the creation of larger, more powerful hovercrafts that can cater to a broader range of operational scenarios. The current 8000TD model can carry up to 70 troops or 10 tons of cargo and boasts an impressive maximum speed of 45 knots.
India’s coast guard currently operates 18 Griffon Hoverwork 8000TD hovercrafts, with plans to retire six of them within the next one to two years. The potential for expanded operational requirements suggests that more hovercrafts may be needed to maintain a robust coastal defense posture.
Hovercrafts, with their unique ability to operate across various terrains, including water and land, offer a distinct advantage in amphibious operations. Their versatility makes them invaluable for rapid deployment of troops and equipment, particularly during scenarios requiring quick response and maneuverability.
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