A ship and two Interceptor Boats (IB) were commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in Goa via videoconference from the national capital by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday.
This marks a landmark for the ICG: it now has 150 ships and boats and 62 aircraft.
“The ships, on joining the fleet, will be deployed extensively for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, coastal security and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard charter of duties, to safeguard the maritime interests of the nation,” the ICG said in a statement.
Ship ICGS Sachet is the first in a series of five offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) being built by the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). The IBs, C-450 and C-451, are designed & built by the Larsen & Toubro Shipyard, Hazira. The 30-metre long boats are capable of achieving speeds in excess of 45 knots and designed for high-speed interception, close patrol and low intensity maritime operations.
The 105-metre long ICGS Sachet displaces approximately 2,350 tons and is propelled by two 9,100 KW diesel engines designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots, with an endurance of 6,000 nautical miles. It is designed to carry a twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats and one inflatable boat for swift boarding and search and rescue operations.
“The ship is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to undertake oil spill pollution response at sea,” the statement said.
More under construction
Further, 40 ships were in various stages of construction at different Indian shipyards and 16 Advanced Light Helicopters under production at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). They would provide the added strength to the surveillance capabilities of the ICG to deal with the ever-dynamic maritime challenges.
The ICG said it had saved around 400 lives at sea, 4,500 lives as part of assistance rendered to the civil authorities and undertook 32 medical evacuations in 2019. It had also collaborated with friendly littoral states as per provisions of bilateral agreements that had resulted in successful apprehension and seizure of drugs in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). “Hawk eye vigil of the Indian EEZ has ensured a seizure of Rs. 2,000 crore contraband, detainment of 30 foreign fishing vessels with 119 miscreants for fishing illegally in the Indian waters during the same period,” the statement added.
Navy inducts vessel
Separately, the Navy formally inducted Landing Craft Utility (LCU) L57 into service at Port Blair. This is the seventh LCU in the series of the MK-IV class that has been indigenously designed and built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The amphibious vessel, displacing 830 tonnes, has a complement of five officers, 45 sailors. It is also capable of carrying 160 troops.