Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, will add more firepower to the Coast Guard when they commission the 105metre vessel ICGS Sarathi into the force on Friday.
The vessel, which would be commissioned in the presence of Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh, is the third vessel of the Sarathi Class vessels being designed and built indigenously by Vasco-based Goa Shipyard Limited.
“It is fitted with most advanced, state-of-the-art technology, navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery. The features include an integrated bridge system, integrated machinery control system, power management system and high power external fire fighting system,” a Coast Guard official said earlier.
The ship is designed to carry one twin-engine light helicopter and five high speed boats and has pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea.
“The ship draws 2,450 tons propelled by two 9100KW diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 23 knots and has an endurance of 6000nm at economical speed,” the official said.
The ship, on joining the Coast Guard fleet, will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance and other duties assigned to the Coast Guard and will be used to safeguard the maritime interests of India.
Presently, Indian Coast Guard has a fleet of 118 ships and it is likely to add more than 75 more vessels in the near future.
The role and importance of Coast Guard has increased significantly after the 26/11 terror strikes on Mumbai in 2008. After the incident, the Coast Guard strengthened its coastal surveillance network and has now developed the capability to keep an eye on sea traffic from its headquarters in Delhi.
The government has also sanctioned an increase in its aerial capabilities by sanctioning 30 new choppers and a fleet of new Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft.