Maritime security ship reaches city

The State's maritime security received a shot in the arm on Sunday with the arrival of the Indian Coast Guard's new state-of-the-art offshore patrol vessel, Vikram, commissioned in Chennai on April 11, at its base port, New Mangalore. It was the first in class of seven new generation offshore patrol vessels contracted by the Ministry of Defence to Larsen and Toubro Ltd. in March 2015 under the government's Make in India initiative. The indigenously built ship with advanced navigation and communication facilities anchored alongside Berth No 1 at New Mangalore Port at 9.40 a.m.

It was welcomed with the national anthem and "Sarae Jahan Se Acha". It has a complement of 14 officers and 88 men. With this, the fleet of patrol vessels of the Coast Guard in the Karnataka headquarters in Mangaluru rose to five.

The Coast Guard has four fast patrol vessels based here. "The ship is designed to carry one twin-engine light helicopter and another twin-engine heavy helicopter with night flying capabilities," Commandant Satwant Singh, in-charge Commander, Coast Guard, Karnataka, said at the welcoming ceremony. It carries four high speed boats, including two rigid hull inflatable boats for swift boarding operation, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol.

The ship is capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea, he said. The ship can stay at sea for 20 days without any replenishment and is fitted with one 30 mm gun with fire control system and two 12.7 mm guns with fire control system. It can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots, he said.

"It is a major milestone in augmenting maritime security on the Karnataka coast," Mr. Singh said. The other features of the ship include an integrated bridge system, automated power management system, high power external fire-fighting system, tunnel thruster and indigenously built integrated platform management system and helo traversing system, a coast guard note said.

The ship is 98 m long, 15 m wide, and it has 3.6 m draught and 2,140 tonnes displacement, it said.

The Coast Guard has two hovercrafts based in Mangaluru in addition to an aviation unit.

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