A decommissioned Navy ship called Fast Attack Craft (I N FAC) T-81 has been allotted to the Port Museum under Alappuzha Heritage Project. The vessel is currently being transported and is expected to reach the Museum by the end of this week. It will be displayed at the seaside front of the Port Museum. The ship is being transported by road and it reached Thanneermukkom a few weeks ago. The vessel is using a massive 106-wheeled multi-axle trailer. The truck that is being used for transportation is a Volvo FM 400.
P.M. Noushad, managing director, Muziris Spice Route Heritage Project said, “The plan was to begin the journey on Thursday. The craft has already been mounted on the trailer. As it is a heavy load, we do not want to take any chances. Some additional welding works are being done to ensure that the vessel is fitting tightly on the trailer. The trailer carrying the craft will start moving on Friday morning. If things go as planned, it will reach its final destination by Saturday,”
The load that Mr Noushad is talking about is a massive 60 tonnes. So, his consideration of making sure that the vessel is welded properly is important as if something goes wrong a massive catastrophe could occur and a lot of people can get injured.
Such trucks move at a very slow speed as we can see from the video. Due to this, it took 8 months for the truck to reach Kerala from Mumbai. The project manager has to plan everything in advance considering that it takes so long to reach the final destination. Often, they have to coordinate with electrical companies to cut down power and disconnect electrical lines. Because the trucks go so slow, the crew members walk alongside the truck making sure that everything is in order and is going according to the plan.
Volvo FM 400 is considered one of the best heavy-duty trucks in the segment. What is most impressive is the engine of this truck because it is a torque monster. The truck is equipped with a massive 12.8-litre D13A turbocharged diesel engine. It puts out 400 bhp of max power @ 1,400 to 1,800 rpm. The peak torque output of the engine is a humongous 2,000 Nm and it comes in as early as 1,050 rpm and stays till 1,400 rpm.
On the other hand, FAC T-81, the vessel weighs 60 tonnes and can achieve a top speed of 45 knots which is 85 kmph. It has a range of 600 nautical miles which is around 1110 km. It was commissioned to the Indian Navy in June 1999 and it was decommissioned on 28th January 2021. The vessel measures 25 metres in length. It is fitted with OERLIKON 20 mm gun with a Typhoon system. The FAC T-81 can even swim in shallow waters because of its hydrodynamic design and state-of-the-art machinery. The ship has served on surveillance duties, reconnaissance, coordinated search and rescue operations, and high-speed interception of small craft.