New Delhi: 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 New Delhi on May 15.
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.”
Praising the role of ICG guarding the coastline, the Minister 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).”
He 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.
Singh praised the efforts of Goa Shipyard and L&T Shipyard, Hazira who have continued to build and maintain ships under the present circumstances. He said, “it also shows the professionalism. It is noteworthy that Indian Shipyards are making significant contribution to the vision of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Self-reliant India campaign’, which was recently inspired by our Prime Minister.”
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 nation’s fight against COVID-19.
The 105 metre long ship ‘Sachet’ displaces approximately 2,350 tonnes 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.