Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Ship Vigraha, seventh in the series of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), got commissioned by the Defence Minister in Chennai today. The ship will be based in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh and operate on the eastern seaboard under the Operational and Administrative Control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday lauded the commissioning of the state-of-the-art Coast Guard Ship, ‘Vigraha’ and appreciated the significant improvement in the coastal defense capability.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG)’s offshore patrol vessel (OPV), the Defence Minister said, “It gives me immense pleasure to be present amongst all of you on the occasion of commissioning of state-of-the-art Coast Guard Ship, ‘Vigraha’ today.”
“The commissioning of this ship showcases significant improvement in our coastal defense capability as also our ever-increasing ‘self-reliance’ in the defense sector. This ship is 100 meters long and equipped with the latest technologies of the day. Be it the navigation system or communication equipment, sensors or other installed equipment, all these are going to meet the needs not only of today but also the future for a long time to come,” Singh said.
The Defence Minister further said, “I will not go into much technical details about the ship, but I will definitely say a couple of things about which I am very happy. First, from its design conception to development, the ship is completely indigenous.”
“The Journey of growth of our Indian Coast Guard, which began with a modest 5-7 small boats, has today grown to over 20,000 active personnel, over 150 vessels, and a fleet of over 65 aircraft. Since its inception, in the last 40-45 years, the Indian Coast Guard has made its mark at the international level by playing a leading role in coastal security as well as in maritime crises, and disasters,” Singh said.
At the Ceremony, the Union Minister said, “Be it the protection of our fishing community living in our coastal areas, extending assistance to Department of Customs or other similar authorities, protection of our islands and terminals, or scientific data collection and support, you have served the nation, in many ways.”
“It is the result of this augmentation in the security capabilities that we have not suffered any terrorist accident by sea route since the 2008 Mumbai attack. The ICG has always been ready to extend help to our neighbouring countries in line with the spirit of inclusiveness. During the fire on the tanker ‘New Diamond’ last year, and the cargo ship ‘Express Pearl’ this year, you have provided active and timely assistance to Sri Lanka,” he added.