By mid-2014, 14 more such ships will join the fleet

Indian Coast Guard’s C-154, an interceptor boat (IB) with new generation Arneson Surface Drive (ASD), was commissioned here on Friday in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Secretary J.K. Banthia and S.P.S. Basra, Inspector General (IG), Coast Guard Region (West).

ASD, a surface-piercing propeller drive, can turn the boat while in high speed. By mid-2014, the Coast Guard will add 14 more such ships to its fleet. They will be distributed across the coastline for better surveillance.

“This ship will be based in Mumbai and will serve the entire coast of Maharashtra. It will also help in securing the western coast of the country,” said Mr. Basra.

The 28-metre-long boat, with 75 tonnes displacement, can achieve a maximum speed of 35 knots. Besides latest navigation and communication equipment, it has medium-range armament. It can perform high-speed interception, close-coast patrol, low-intensity maritime operations, search-and-rescue and surveillance. It was built by M/s Bharati Shipyard Ltd. at a cost of Rs. 18 crore.

“We have taken a serious note of the bomb blasts in Hyderabad. Apart from issuing high alert in the State, such efforts to strengthen our coastline are also necessary. All the authorities responsible for handling the security of coasts are working in cooperation,” said Mr. Banthia.

The vessel is also capable of operating in shallow water. It has two main engines of 1,630 kW each and has a complement of one officer and 12 men.