Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping(I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers was the Chief Guest for the launching ceremony of 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV-6) ’VAJRA’ today at Chennai. The impressive ceremony was witnessed by Director General K Natarajan, PTM, TM, Director General Indian Coast Guard, Inspector General S Paramesh, PTM, TM, Commander Coast Guard Region (East) and other senior officials.
Speaking at the occasion, Mandaviya said that is its momentous occasion for the Indian Coast Guard as 6th OPV is getting launched in the sea for the first time and also it will strengthen the efforts Indian Coast Guard for securing over 7500 km vast coastline, an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of over 20 lakh sq km and more than one lakh merchant ships transiting per year through Indian waters for global trade.
Mandaviya recalled maritime history of India and stated that National Maritime Heritage Complex will be developed at Lothal, Gujarat for securing and showcasing rich maritime heritage of India and added that India has always been strong player in Maritime Technology since Indus Valley Civilisation except for few centuries and showed the confidence that India is regaining its maritime capabilities with dedicated approach in terms of shipbuildings and protecting waters of India.
Mandaviya also congratulated M/s L&T Shipbuilding for the delivery of the vessel as per the scheduled timeline. The OPV launched is the sixth in the series of seven OPV projects being built by M/s L&T Shipbuilding under the ‘Make in India’ policy.
Further Mandaviya added that OPV-6 is truly state of the art platform that will enhance the capabilities of the Indian Coast Guard in terms of Operation, Surveillance, Search & Rescue. Mandaviya appreciated that within the span of 43 years, the Indian Coast Guard has increased its fleet strength and now it is one of the largest coast guards in the world.
The ship would be utilized for day and night patrol/surveillance along with anti-terrorist/ anti-smuggling operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as Coastal Security. The OPV will have two Navigation Radars with ultra-modern technology, Sophisticated navigational and latest communication systems.