Arnvesh, the 50-metre long, 300-tonne vessel is the 16{+t}{+h}vessel among the 20 in this category built by Cochin Shipyard Limited

The fast patrol vessel (FPV) of the Indian Coast Guard ICGS Arnvesh was commissioned at Visakhapatnam by Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral H.C.S. Bisht on Monday.

The 50-metre long, 300-tonne vessel is the 16{+t}{+h}vessel among the 20 in this category built by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The vessel, which is propelled by triple Rolls Royce Kamewa water jets, can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots and carries a crew of five officers and 34 men on board.

Fitted with the state-of-the-art navigational and communication equipment, including night vision capabilities, its main armament comprise 40/60 Bofors guns.

Commissioning the FPV, Admiral Bisht said that the role of Coast Guard has now become 24/7, and it plays a very active role in coastal security, especially when it comes to terrorism from the sea. “Today, the coast is secured by the tri-forces of the navy, coast guard and the marine police,” he said.

Admiral Bisht also highlighted the role of Cochin Shipyard and the indigenous capability that the country has achieved in ship building. “Today, CSL is not only building FPVs and other class of vessels, but is also on the verge of delivering to the nation, the first indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant,” he pointed out.

Talking on the role of ICGS Arnvesh, Inspector General of Coast Guard (Eastern Region) S.P Sharma, said that the FPV will primarily focus on surveillance at sea, coastal patrol, anti-smuggling operation, anti-piracy and search and rescue operations.

According to him, Coast Guard is on an expansion mode, as its role in safe guarding the maritime assets in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and coastal security has increased over the years.

At present, the Indian Coast Guard has 120 ships, 63 aircraft and 10,000 men, spread across its 42 Coast Guard Stations, five air stations and10 Coast Guard Air Enclaves. As per Mr. Sharma, 125 ships of different types are under construction at different shipyards, and the ideas is to have at least 150 ships and 100 aircraft under operation, across the length of the Indian coast on any given day, by 2019. Mr. Sharma informed The Hindu that four new ships will be added to the Eastern Region by the next year.

As of now the Eastern Region that caters from Odisha to Tamil Nadu, has 33 commissioned ships, 11 non-commissioned crafts and 15 aircrafts.

DIG of Coast Guard (Andhra Pradesh) A.K.