Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday commissioned the Indian Coast Guard Ship Samarth, the first in the series of six indigenously-built Offshore patrol vessels, in Goa, officials said.
Fitted with the most advanced state-of-the-art technology, navigation and communications equipment, sensors and machinery, the OPV is 105 metres long and has been designed and built by Goa Shipyard Ltd.
Some of the features include an Integrated Bridge System, Integrated Machinery Control System, Power Management System and High Power External Fire Fighting System.
The ICGS Samarth can carry one twin-engined light helicopter and five high-speed boats, including two QRIBs for fast boarding operations, search and rescue, maritime patrol and also engage in pollution control measures like controlling oil spills at sea.
To be based in Goa, ICGS Samarth will be deployed primarily for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance and other duties on the Western Seaboard to safeguard India's maritime interests.
Presently, the ICG has a fleet of 117 ships while 74 more are under various stages of construction at different shipyards in the country.
The vessel will be manned by 14 officers and 98 men under the command of Deputy Inspector-General Rakesh Pal.
In the present security scenario, with increased threat from maritime terror, the induction of the sophisticated OPV will provide the desired fillip to maritime protection of Indian coast in general and coastal Goa in particular.
Besides Parrikar, present on the occasion on Tuesday were Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral H.C.S. Bisht, Director General of the ICG, GSL chairman and managing director Rear Admiral (retired) Shekhar Mittal, among others.