Mumbai: The Indian Coast Guard`s state-of-the art indigenously built pollution control vessel ICGS Samudra Prahari was commissioned at the naval dockyard here Saturday by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
The induction of the much-needed vessel would significantly boost the protection of the region`s maritime environment, Chavan said on the occasion.
Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, flag officer commanding-in-chief, Western Naval Command said that ICGS Samudra Prahari - billed as the first of its kind in South Asia - would be extensively deployed for surveillance of the Indian exclusive economic zone and on other duties.
"With 70 percent of India`s sea trade by volume and 90 percent by value being conducted through the sea lanes of communication, the possibility of maritime incidents or accidents cannot be ruled out," Bhasin said.
Besides ICGS Samudra Prahari, the Coast Guard will further augment its force levels and bolster its operational prowess by soon inducting two more such vessels.
In addition, it will also acquire two offshore patrol vessels, 13 inshore patrol vessels and 61 interceptor boats, all of which are under various stages of construction at different Indian shipyards.
They are slated for induction between 2010-2014, Bhasin said.
ICGS Samudra Prahari, manned by 10 officers and 100 men under the command of Deputy Inspector General Manoj V Baadkar will be based at Mumbai under the administrative and operational control of the Coast Guard`s western region commander.
Designed and built by ABG Shipyard Ltd, Surat, the 95-metre-long vessel is equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated pollution response equipment for mitigating marine oil spills in the Indian exclusive economic zone.
In addition, the vessel is also equipped with advanced navigational and communication sensors and equipment and is capable of embarking a helicopter.
The vessel is fitted with a dynamic positioning facility for precise maneuvering and also has the special features like an integrated platform management system, power management system, high-power external fire fighting system and an indigenously built gun mount.
The ship`s infra-red surveillance system will enable the crew to detect targets at night that would otherwise evade radar detection due to their small size or rough seas.
The ship can also carry five high speed boats and four water scooters for search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, high speed interdiction and marine pollution response missions.
The ship draws 4,300 tons and is propelled by 3,000 KW twin diesel engines whose power is further enhanced by twin-shaft generators for attaining a maximum speed of 21 knots.
At economical speed, it has an endurance of 6,500 nautical miles and can stay at sea for prolonged durations of up to 20 days without replenishment.