VISAKHAPATNAM: Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday commissioned the Indian Coast Guard Ship Veera at a ceremony held at Naval Jetty at the dockyard in the city. Veera, third in the series of offshore patrol vessels of the Coast Guard, was built by L&T at its shipbuilding facility at Kattupalli in Chennai.
Speaking on the occasion, General Rawat said the induction of the OPV will give a fillip to the maritime protection of India’s vast coastline of Eastern Seaboard. He said the commissioning of Veera will enhance the Indian Coast Guard’s operational capability to discharge its multifarious maritime tasks.
General Rawat said there was good cooperation and synergy between Indian Army and Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has been pursuing the first ever joint case for the acquisition of vehicles for shallow water operations. The Coast Guard, being experienced in such operations, has played a lead role as lead agency in the project, he said. General Rawat was all praise for the Coast Guard, which was formed in 1978, has emerged as the fourth largest force in coastal security in the world.
L&T MD and CEO B Kannan said Veera is the third OPV constructed by L&T. A ship of this class has been designed and constructed in India for the first time as part of ‘Make in India’ concept of the Central government. He said three OPVs were delivered ahead of the schedule. He said there was significant growth in shipbuilding activity in private sector in the country. “L&T has set a new benchmark in shipbuilding activity both in speed of execution as well as quality and also it demonstrated its prowess,” he said. The fourth OPV was ready and will be commissioned soon, he said.
Director General of Coast Guard Rajender Singh said the Coast Guard has maintained a seamless synergy with Indian Army in the field of operation, which was being expanded by the first-ever joint acquisition of 12 hovercraft, six for Army and six for the Coast Guard. Post 26/11, the Coast Guard has been bestowed with greater responsibility for coastal security, he said. “As far as indigenisation is concerned, we have come a long way from importing patrol vessels from Singapore, Japan, South Korea to building modern patrol vessels,” Kannan said.
Later, General Rawat unveiled the plaque to mark the commissioning of Veera. Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, senior executive vice-president of L&T JD Patil, senior officials of Coast Guard, ENC, police and civil administration were present at the commissioning of the ship.
Veera is equipped with the state-of-the-art machinery comprising an integrated bridge system, which includes advanced navigation and communication technology and integrated platform management system.