Aadesh is first in a series of 20 waterjet-propelled fast patrol vessels being built for the agency by the Cochin Shipyard

The Coast Guard on Friday inducted the first in a series of 20 waterjet-propelled fast patrol vessels (FPV) being built for it by the Cochin Shipyard.

CGS Aadesh, as the ship is named, will be based in Tuticorin for patrol of the Gulf of Mannar. The second vessel in the series, CGS Abheek, will be commissioned by Defence Minister A.K. Antony on December 31 and the third, sometime in January next.

Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command who commissioned the ship, said despite severe manpower constraints, the Coast Guard was augmenting assets in a big way, which would turn it into one of the largest Coast Guards in the world.

He stressed the need for greater synergy among various coastal security stakeholders, and said post-26/11, tremendous progress was made in securing India’s coast against inimical forces. The national AIS (automatic identification system) chain was up and running and the coastal surveillance network made steady progress. The fishing community, with which the Navy and the Coast Guard held regular parleys, played a key role in securing coastal waters as “they are the first to come to know about any intrusion”, he said.

The Vice-Admiral said the half-yearly meetings on coastal security he held with the State’s chief secretary were constructive. The next meeting would be in January.

Terming the induction of Aadesh as an historic event, Commodore (retd) K. Subramaniam, Chairman and Managing Director of Cochin Shipyard, said though small in size, the state-of-the-art FPVs were complex platforms posing many challenges to the builder. The vessel being weight-sensitive had its super structure built using aluminium which required the yard to master new weld technologies. “In the end, the difference between its design weight and actual weight is only about 2 tonnes, which is a difference of less than .01 percent. This ensured that the vessel attained its design speed on her very first outing,” he said.

Single largest order

Mr. Subramaniam said the contract for the 20 FPVs was the single largest order signed by the yard — which was also building India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier for the Navy — till date. It wouldn’t have come at a better time as worldwide the shipbuilding industry was in a trough, with industry pundits seeing no relief in sight till 2015. He said the third vessel of the class would be delivered to the Coast Guard by December end.

Inspector General S.P.S. Basra, Commander, Coast Guard Region (West), said the induction of Aadesh was a step towards attaining total coastal surveillance. He said barring Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the first phase of coastal sensor network was in place countrywide.

CGS Aadesh, designed by the Kochi-based Smart Engineering and Design Solutions Ltd (SEDS), has a length of 50 metres and displaces 290 tonnes. It sports a gyro-stabilised 30-mm turret gun besides advanced weapons, navigation and communication systems, which enable it to perform multiple roles.

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