Vasco Da Gama: The Coast Guard's latest and largest offshore patrol vessel, Samarth, was Tuesday commissioned here by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who asked the force not to sit on past laurels and focus on securing India's maritime interests.
With a displacement of 2450 tonnes, the ship is equipped with sophisticated technology, sensors, navigation, communication and weapon systems. Samarth is first in the series of six 105m offshore patrol vessels and has been built by Goa Shipyard.
Backing the Coast Guard's efforts at modernisation, Parrikar referred to the force earlier this year intercepting a vessel off the Gujarat coast.
"I am not saying there were terrorists or something but definitely they were not friendly," he said, complimenting the CG as he recalled the January incident which had run into controversy.
Parrikar said the CG will reach its sanctioned strength as various vessels were in the pipeline and lauded Goa Shipyard for early completion of Samarth.
At the same time, he asked the force not to sit on past laurels and focus more on securing the oastal boundary.
Samrath will be based in Goa and will be extensively used for Exclusive Economic Zone and other duties as it is set to be exploited extensively on the Western Seaboard.
It will be carrying one twin-engine helicopter and five high-speed boats. It is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain any oil spill at sea.
"In the present security scenario, with increased threat from maritime terrorism, the induction of a sophisticated and state-of-the-art offshore patrol vessel, will provide the desired fillip to maritime protection of the coastal state of Goa in particular and the Indian coast in general," CG officials said.
The force currently has a fleet of 117 ships. 74 more ships are at various stages of construction at different shipyards.
Samarth has a maximum speed of 23 knots and has an endurance of 6000 nautical miles at economical speed.