CHENNAI: Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Vajra’, the sixth in the series of seven Offshore Patrol Vessels constructed by Larsen & Toubro, was commissioned in Chennai by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff on Wednesday.
The 98-metre OPV is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery. The ship will be equipped with 30mm and 12.7mm guns with fire control system for enhancing its fighting efficiency. The ship draws approx 2,100 tons (GRT) and is propelled by twin MTU 8000 series engines of 9,100 KW each, capable of achieving 26 knots top speed and endurance of 5,000 nm at economical speed.
Commanded by Deputy Inspector General Alex Thomas, the vessel will be based in Tuticorin under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, No 16 Coast Guard District. The ship is designed to carry one twin engine helicopter (ALH MK-III under acceptance by ICG from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and four high speed boats including two rigid hull inflatable boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol.
The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment for oil spill response at sea. The sustenance and reach, coupled with latest modern equipment, provides her the capability to perform the role of a Command Platform to accomplish the ICG Charter of Duties.
DG Krishnaswamy Natarajan, Director General, ICG, Inspector General S Paramesh, Commander, Coast Guard Region (east), JD Patil, director, L&T and other senior dignitaries of the Central and State government were present on the occasion, a release stated. Meanwhile, L&T said ICGS Vajra was delivered ahead of contractual schedule.
The seventh OPV ICGS Vigraha was launched in October 2020 and is being readied for sea trials. OPVs are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of India, including island territories with helicopter operation capabilities. Their roles include coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.