An Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the Indian Coast Guard was launched and re-christened as Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sarthak’ by Ms. Veena Ajay Kumar, wife of Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar today. The launching ceremony at Goa Shipyard Limited, GSL, Yard 1236, was conducted through video conferencing from Coast Guard headquarters at New Delhi, while adhering to GoI protocol on global pandemic COVID-19. Defence Secretary, Dr Ajay Kumar; Director General Indian Coast Guard K Natarajan; Chairman & Managing Director, M/s GSL and senior officials of MoD were present.
OPV Sarthak is the 4th in the series of five OPVs. It has been designed & built indigenously by M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India’. The Ship is fitted with state-of-the-art Navigation and Communication equipment, sensor and machinery. The 105 Metre ship displaces approximately 2350 tons and is propelled by two 9100 KW diesel engines designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots, with an endurance of 6000 Nautical Miles. The sustenance and reach, coupled with the latest equipment and system, provides her the capability to perform the role of a command platform and undertake tasks to fulfill the Coast Guard charter. The ship is designed to embark and carry a twin-engine helicopter, four high speed boats and one inflatable boat for swift boarding and Search & Rescue operations. The ship is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to undertake oil spill pollution response at sea.
Commending the Indian Coast Guard and M/s GSL for this initiative of launching through digital means, Dr Ajay Kumar said that it was reassuring to witness the growing strength of Indian Coast Guard, and capabilities of Indian Shipbuilding industry, a strong supporting pillar for production and maintenance of ships of Indian Maritime Forces. He also commended the professionalism of Goa Shipyard in meeting the timelines of the contract despite the pandemic COVID-19.
Speaking on the occasion, DG ICG K Natarajan, said that today’s launching marks an important milestone for any ship since she touches the water for the first time, the place where she belongs through her entire service life. He also brought out that the mere presence of Indian Coast Guard unit at sea serves dual objectives of “Deterrence” and “Reassurance”. It deters people with ill-intent and at the same time reassures maritime community, who look up to Indian Coast Guard as “Saviours at sea”, as they are aware that Indian Coast Guard will swiftly respond to any distress call or life-threatening situation at sea. He conveyed his appreciation to CMD, GSL and Coast Guard Refit and Production Superintendent (Goa) and their teams for their dedicated efforts which culminated in launching of this majestic ship.
Indian Coast Guard has been a pioneer in inducting indigenous assets which has enabled it to remain operationally available throughout the year. The ship launched today, has about 70% indigenous content, thus providing the necessary fillip to the Indian shipbuilding industry and a giant leap towards achieving ‘Atmanirbar Bharat’.
The ship will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance, Coastal Security and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard charter of duties, to safeguard the maritime interests of the Nation. In addition to the 05 OPV project, 52 ships are at various stages of construction at different Indian Shipyards and 16 Advanced Light Helicopters are under production at M/s HAL, Bengaluru, which will provide the added strength to the surveillance capabilities of Indian Coast Guard to deal with the dynamic maritime challenges.
True to its motto “Vayam Rakshamah” meaning “We Protect”, Indian Coast Guard has to its credit of saving about 9730 lives at sea, 12500 lives as part of assistance rendered to Civil authorities and undertook 400 Medical evacuations. Indian Coast Guard saves one life every second day at sea. The deterrence created by the Indian Coast Guard is not limited to the Indian waters, but collaboration with friendly littoral states as per provisions of bilateral cooperation agreements resulted in successful apprehension and seizure of drugs in Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The real time information sharing, close coordination and understanding between ICG and other International agencies has been the key success of these operations. The hawk eye vigil by the Indian Coast Guard of the
Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has ensured seizure of Rs. 6800 Crore contraband. Indian Coast Guard remains committed to ensure ‘Safe, Secure and Clean seas’ around the Indian subcontinent.