Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Antony commissions new generation Coast Guard vessel

Defence Minister A.K. Antony commissioned ICGS Vishwast, a new generation Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel (OPV), at an impressive ceremony here Wednesday.

'Vishwast, meaning 'Trustworthy', is a projection of the Indian Coast Guard's will and commitment to maritime order and security,' a defence ministry statement said.

ICGS Vishwast, the first of its class, has been indigenously designed and built by the Goa Shipyard Limited and is equipped with the most advanced navigational and communication sensors.

The special features of the ship include an integrated bridge system, an integrated machinery control system, a high-power external firefighting system and an indigenously built gun mount.

The infrared surveillance system to be installed on board will provide additional capability to detect targets at night that otherwise could evade radar detection due to their small size or rough weather.

The ship is designed to carry one helicopter and five high-speed boats for search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, exclusive economic zone surveillance, high speed interdiction and marine pollution response missions.

The ship is 90 metres long, displaces 2,400 tons, and is propelled by 9,100 KW twin diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 26 Knots. At economical speeds, she has an endurance of 4,500 nautical miles and can stay at sea for 17 days without replenishment.

'This sustenance and reach, coupled with the most modern weapons, provides ICGS Vishwast the capabilities of performing the role of a command platform for the conduct of all Coast Guard operations on both the high seas and close to the coast,' the defence ministry statement said.

Crewed by eight officers and 82 men, ICGS Vishwast will be based at Chennai under the administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).

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