THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is beefing up security down south by inducting one more interceptor vessel at its Vizhinjam station.
DGP K S Balasubramanian will launch the vessel, ICGS C-407, on Friday morning, taking the total number of interceptors at Vizhinjam to two, the Coast Guard Commandant in Vizhinjam, Adinarayanan, said. Deputy Commandant Deep Chandra Mathpal will be in charge of the vessel, which is designed for operations close to the coast and in shallow waters.
Built by L&T, the water jet-propelled vessel is 27.8 metres long with a displacement of 106.3 tonnes. Fitted with medium range armament, ICGS C-407 has advanced navigation and communication equipment. The vessel has an endurance of 500 nautical miles at up to speeds of 25 knots. However, it can go up to a maximum speed of 45 knots, the Coast Guard said. ICGS C-407 has a complement of one officer and 11 enrolled personnel.
After the Mumbai terror attacks, the Coast Guard and the Navy have tightened their vigil in the coastal areas. In fact, the Coast Guard, along with the Indian Navy, had sought berthing space for its vessels at the proposed multi-purpose seaport at Vizhinjam.
Although the agencies had cleared a state government estimate concerning the cost factor, the Defence Ministry is yet to give its clearance. The Coast Guard also proposes to construct berthing facilities for its ships at the small port at Vizhinjam run by the State Ports Department. Planned on land leased from the State Government, the new wharf will ensure exclusive docks for the agency’s interceptor craft and visiting vessels. The facility will link the wharf now used by Coast Guard vessels with the newer of the port’s two existing wharves.
Inspector General S P S Basra, Commander, Coast Guard Region (West) and other dignitaries from the armed forces will also attend the ceremony.