New Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh commissioned Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Sachet and two interceptor boats (IBs) C-450 and C-451 in Goa via video conference from here on Friday.
The ICGS Sachet, the first in the series of five offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) has been designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) and is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment.
Commending ICG and GSL for this initiative of commissioning through digital means, Singh said, "The commissioning of these ships is an important milestone in India's coastal capability building process. Also, despite challenges like COVID-19, it is also a great example of our commitment and determination for the safety and security of the country. The rising power of 'our sea guard', ICG and Indian shipbuilding industry is a matter of pride for the country."
Spelling out Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision 'SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Defence Minister said, "The oceans are the lifelines of not only our country but also global prosperity."
Safe, protected and clean seas provide economic opportunities for our nation-building. India is an emerging maritime power, and our prosperity is also very dependent on the sea. Being a responsible maritime power, Oceans are priority of the Government, he added.
Praising the role of ICG guarding the coastline, Singh said, "As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, it has established itself as a reliable force. It not only protects our coastline and coastal community, but also protects economic activities, and maritime environment in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)."
Singh acknowledged that the sea can become a medium of any kind of threats sponsored by anti-national elements. Therefore it is extremely important to develop a collaborative and cooperative approach among all stakeholders.
He expressed confidence that the Coast Guard Ships being inducted from today onwards will add to their strength and help in addressing the challenges related to maritime terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling, maritime law enforcement and the search and rescue of threatened mariners.
Director-General of Indian Coast Guard Krishnaswamy Natarajan said the commissioning event proved that despite the hurdles posed by COVID19, the ICG moves ahead. He said the new additions to the ICG fleet of vessels would assist the ICG to remain ever vigilant at sea and contribute to the nation's fight against COVID-19.
The 105 metre long ship '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.
The sustenance and reach, coupled with the latest equipment and systems, provides her the capability to perform the role of a command platform and undertake tasks to fulfil the ICG charter. The ship is designed to carry a 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.
"Sachet" meaning alert is projection of will and commitment of ICG 'to be ever vigilant for serving and protecting' the maritime interest of the Nation.
The ships, on joining the Coast Guard 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.
With the commissioning of these ships, the ICG has reached a landmark 150 ships & Boats and 62 aircraft. (ANI)