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Coast Guard''s offshore patrol vessel "Varad" commissioned

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Press Trust of India Chennai
Indian Coast Guard's offshore patrol vessel 'Varad' was commissioned by Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya here on Friday.
The 98-metre long ship has been built by Larsen and Toubro Ltd at its yard at Kattupalli near here.
The vessel fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment was commissioned by the Minister in the presence of Coast Guard Director General K Natarajan, Chennai Port Trust Chairman P Raveendran and senior government officials at the Chennai Port Trust here.
Mandaviya also unveiled a plaque on the ship marking the commissioning ceremony.
Earlier, he was accorded a warm welcome by Coast Guard personnel at Chennai Port.
Speaking on the occasion, the minister said Coast Guard effectively establishes its presence for country's safety and that of the fishermen if there is any disaster in the sea like oil spill.
"Every year one lakh vessels pass through Indian seas. East or West on the shipping route, Coast Guard's role is to guide vessels, assist (them) during disaster," he said.
The commissioning of 'Varad' into service would enhance the Coast Guard's capability besides strengthening the country's security, he said.
It is the fifth in the series of seven offshore patrol vessels for which L&T had bagged a contract from the Defence Ministry in 2015 valued at Rs 1,432 crore.
The Minister also a shared some images of him taking part in the commissioning ceremony on his official twitter page.
"Attended the commissioning ceremony of OPV-5 Varad at Chennai Port Trust. An exponential growth of shipbuilding industry is perceived, contributing immensely towards the vision of #MakeinIndia. A momentous occasion for both Coast Guard and L&T Shipyard," he tweeted.
L&T Shipbuilding Ltd Chairman S Kannan said the ship underwent extensive trials ahead of is commissioning.
Coast Guard Director General K Natarajan said the commissioning of the vessel succeeds the previous generation of ICGS 'Varad' which was in service for 28 years.
He said 90 per cent of the funding allotted had been spent on indigenisation of the vessels.
Later talking to reporters, he said the vessel can go up to 10,000 kms non-stop and had many multi-mission capabilities.
"On March 15, the first twin engine helicopter is going to be handed over (to Coast Guard by HAL). Even that can land on this ship. That is the kind of power," he said.
He said there were 61 ships for Coast Guard under various levels of construction at public and private shipyards.
"Our target is to have 200 ships for 2025 and we are moving towards that goal. We are also moving towards 100 aircraft. We have 65 (aircraft) right now," he said.
"The stronger the Coast Guard, the borders are protected and economy of the country will develop significantly," he said.
'Varad' is a projection of the Coast Guard's will and commitment which is 'to serve and protect' the maritime interests of the country.
The vessel is equipped with 30-mm and 12.7 mm guns.
Some of the special features include Integrated Bridge System, Automated Power Management System and high power external firefighting system among others.
The vessel can carry two engine light helicopters with night flying capabilities.
The ship carries four high-speed boats including two rigid hull inflatable boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol.
The ship propelled by twin engines is capable of achieving maximum speed of 26 knots and endurance of 5,000 nautical miles.
The vessel is currently based at Paradip under the Commander Coast Guard Region (North East). The ship has 11 officers and 91 men.
Commandant Pintu Bag is the commanding officer of 'ICGS Varad'.

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First Published: Feb 28 2020 | 3:34 PM IST

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