Panaji: Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) on Thursday signed a contract to build 12 high-performance specialised patrol crafts for the Indian Army which will be utilised along the disputed waters at the Line of Actual Control, particularly Pangong Tso. The specialised boats will be delivered to the Indian Army by December 2021, said GSL officials.

While GSL has built warships and patrol vessels for the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard, construction of high-performance patrol vessels which are capable of performing at high altitudes will add to the defence public sector undertaking’s diverse capabilities.

Though GSL had earlier built over 170 glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) boats for the Union ministry of Home Affairs, the 12 boats for the Indian Army will be based on a new design and fitted with specialised equipment to operate in the harsh conditions up north of the country.

“These are composite hull boats and will have advanced sensor systems to help the Army fulfil its role,” said chairman and managing director B B Nagpal who was in New Delhi to ink the contract with the Indian Army.

GSL bagged the contract after emerging as the lowest bidder for the tender where public and private ship builders also participated. With skirmishes between Indian and Chinese soldiers increasing along the LAC which passes over water bodies and mountains, the Indian Army floated the tender to procure 12 specialised boats. “These craft will be among only few crafts in the world for such specialized operations,” GSL stated.