INDIAN COAST GUARD GETS TWO NEW INDIGENOUSLY-BUILT SHIPS IN ONE WEEK

by Editorial

New Delhi: In addition to the launch of ICGS ‘Saksham’, 5th and the last vessel of the indigenous project for 5 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) at the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) on Monday, the Indian Coast Guard added two new ships in its rapidly expanding fleet of more than 150 vessels. Offshore Patrol vessel ICGS Sujeet and Interceptor Boat C-454 were commissioned in the Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday.

Indian Coast Guard Ship Sujeet, the second in the series of 5 Off Shore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), was commissioned at Goa by Raj Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, last Tuesday in the presence of DG Krishnaswamy Natarajan, Director General, Indian Coast Guard, Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), M/s GSL and other dignitaries of the Armed Forces, Central and State Government. The Ship has been designed & built indigenously by M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensor and machinery. The 105 m ship displaces approximately 2350 tons and is propelled by two 9100 KW diesel engines designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots, with an endurance of 6000 nm.

The sustenance and reach, coupled with the latest equipment and system, provides her the capability to perform the role of a command platform and undertake tasks to fulfil the Coast Guard charter. The ship is designed to carry twin-engine helicopter and four high speed boats and one inflatable boat for swift boarding and Search &Rescue operations. The ship is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to undertake oil spill pollution response at sea.

‘Sujeet’ meaning ‘Great Victory’ is a projection of Indian Coast Guard’s will and commitment and define its character of being ‘Ready Relevant and Responsive’ service to ensure safeguarding maritime interest of the nation. ICGS Sujeet is commanded by Deputy Inspector General Harinder Jit Singh and manned by 121 personnel, including 12 officers.

INTERCEPTOR BOAT C-454

Indian Coast Guard Interceptor Boat got commissioned by Ajay Kumar Tomar, Commissioner of Police, Surat last Tuesday at Hazira in presence of Inspector General Rakesh Pal Commander, Indian Coast Guard Region (NW) and distinguished central and state government guests and civil dignitaries.

This interceptor boat is built indigenously by M/s L&T Jetty, Hazira and is capable of high speed of 45 knots having capability to operate in shallow waters. Vessel is fitted with latest state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment designed for high speed interception, close coast patrol, low intensity maritime operations, Search and Rescue and maritime surveillance. Interceptor Boat will operate from Gujarat under administrative and operational control of the Commander Coast Guard Region (NW) and is a part of ongoing efforts of Indian Coast Guard to strengthen coastal security of Gujarat maritime borders. It will also further augment patrolling and prevent illicit activities such as infiltration, smuggling and illegal fishing activities along the international maritime borders.

The Indian Coast Guard has been a pioneer in inducting indigenous assets, in line with Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’, which has enabled it to remain operationally available throughout the year and provide the necessary fillip to the Indian shipbuilding industry. The ships, on joining the Coast Guard fleet, will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance, Coastal Security and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard charter of duties, to safeguard the maritime interests of the Nation.

With the commissioning of these ships, Indian Coast Guard has reached a landmark 155 ships & Boats and 62 aircraft. Further, 35 ships are at various stages of construction at different Indian Shipyards and 16 Advanced Light Helicopters are under production at M/s HAL, Bengaluru, which will provide the added strength to the surveillance capabilities of ICG to deal with the ever-dynamic maritime challenges.

True to its motto “Vayam Rakshamah” meaning “We Protect”, ICG has to its credit of saving about 125lives and undertook 10 Medical evacuations at sea, in the year 2020 alone despite unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The deterrence created by the ICG assets, deployed 24x7x365 days at sea, is not limited to the Indian waters. Collaboration with friendly littoral Nations as per provisions of bilateral cooperation agreements resulted in successful apprehension of drugs in Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The real time information sharing, close coordination and understanding between ICG and other international agencies has been the key success of these operations. The hawk eye vigil by the ICG of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has ensured seizure of Rs 1,100-crore contraband, including the apprehension of a boat carrying 100 kg narcotics and weapons. This year ICG also apprehended 8 foreign fishing vessels with 71 miscreants for fishing illegally in Indian waters. In addition ICG was prompt in responding and providing support in terms of deploying specialised team and pollution response equipment to Mauritius government during a major oil spill from a Merchant vessel MV Wakashio, in addition to undertake a daredevil firefighting operation onboard a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Motor Tanker New Diamond carrying 2.7 lakh tonnes of crude off Sri Lanka coast, thus averting ecological catastrophe and saving marine bio-diversity. ICG always remains committed to ensure ‘Safe, Secure and Clean seas’ around the Indian subcontinent.

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