The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) here on Friday launched patrol vessel Rani Rashmoni for the Coast Guard, the fifth and last in the series.

Union Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallamraju said the HSL had performed worthily after the Defence Ministry acquired it. All efforts would be made to give more orders to the shipyard, but the productivity should be improved.

HSL chairman and managing director Rear Admiral K.C. Sekhar said the HSL had so far launched 118 vessels from its slipways, including Rani Rashmoni, and constructed 164 vessels of various types, including 11 well-head platforms. Its turnover last year was Rs.662 crore and the profit after tax Rs.56 crore, which enabled it to start the new fiscal with a clean slate.

“After the HSL was taken over by the Ministry of Defence, we got several orders and currently we have orders worth Rs.800 crore on hand. We have embarked on modernisation and a wage revision agreement has been signed with the workers. The future is very bright for HSL,” he said.

Rani Rashmoni has a unique hull and three powerful engines, with adequate space. With a length of 51.15 meters and breadth of 8.36 meters, and depth of 4.55 metres, the vessel could achieve a speed of 34 knots and the complement was 35. The Coast Guard had placed orders for eight more patrol vessels in March.

Ila Sharma, wife of Commandant of the Coast Guard (East) Inspector-General S.P Sharma, launched the vessel.

Mr. Sharma said the Coast Guard was acquiring 13 more offshore patrol vessels, 14 other patrol vessels, 20 interceptor boats, a training ship and one float dock ship. It was increasing the fleet and gearing up to face the future challenges in view of increased security concerns.

“As many as 115 surface platforms are being built in private shipyards for the Coast Guard, and all these ships and craft are being fitted with the most advanced sensors and weapon systems,” he pointed out.