Indian Coast Guard Ship C-440, an Interceptor Boat built by M/s L&T Limited was commissioned at Chennai by Inspector General Rajan Bargotra, Commander Coast Guard Region (East). The spectacular Commissioning Ceremony was witnessed by Senior Officers of the Coast Guard and other distinguished guests from various Central and State agencies.
The Interceptor Boat (IB) is 27.80 mtrs long, with a displacement of 106 tons and max speed of 45 knots (85 kmph). The IB is capable of undertaking multifarious tasks including surveillance, interdiction, Search and Rescue in addition to rendering assistance to boats and craft in distress at sea. ICGS C-440 is capable of operating in shallow waters as well as deep seas. The vessel is provided with advanced navigational and communication equipment for safe navigation. The quick reaction ability coupled with modern equipment and systems provides her the capability to respond to any maritime situation at very short notice.
The ship is commanded by Asst Commandant Kundoor Varun and will be based at Chennai under the operational command of the Commander Coast Guard Region (East).
Speaking on the occasion Inspector General Rajan Bargotra, Commander Coast Guard Region (East), said, "It is indeed an absolute pleasure and honour for me to be associated with the commissioning of the Coast Guard Ship C-440 at Chennai. The Ship is the 40th in the series among the 54 IBs being built at M/s Larsen & Toubro. Ladies and Gentlemen, Commissioning of a ship being culmination of the ship building process, stirs up pleasant emotions in the heart of every worker associated with its construction. It is also a momentous day for Coast Guard fraternity as it adds a platform in our inventory which enables us in fulfilling our mandated responsibilities in India's maritime zones.
The seas around us have acquired significance not only for free movement of trade and commerce but also for energy needs and its security, beside exploitation of both living and non living resources. Added dimension in recent times is, its exploitation as a medium for transporting threats to our national security which originates across high seas. Though the origin of threat may mostly point towards our western maritime border, the seas offer great flexibility in choosing diverse options for routes and targets, which bring our VAs and VPs on eastern sea board also under threat. Thus, protecting India's interest in its Maritime zones during these challenging times warrants us to equip ourselves with state of the art ships, and in adequate numbers.
ICG accordingly has been on the path of rapid expansion with large number of modern ships and aircrafts being ordered to strengthen the maritime security mechanism. The Coast Guard has grown from 61 ships in 2009 to 136 ships to date. In 2017, eleven ships have been inducted into service. The service in on its way to be 190 ships and 100 aircraft strong Coast Guard by 2022.
For ICG to accomplish the huge acquisition plan, it won't be possible without the robust support from Indian shipbuilding industry. I must say L&T is an important partner in success of ICG growth story. I congratulate M/s L&T shipbuilding division, for building ships with fine workmanship and delivering these before time. It's an encouraging sign to see L& T as a private sector in ship building doing well which was essentially a captive domain of Public sectors till some time back. The delivery of state of art OPV Vikram in April this year, which is first in Seven OPV project, on time with very high quality finish stands testimony to this. I also compliment the team of Coast Guard Refit and Production Superintendent Surat whose co-ordinated efforts and professional inputs have culminated in the timely delivery of these technologically sophisticated and role worthy fighting ships for the Coast Guard.
This Interceptor Boat which is equipped with the advanced and sophisticated navigational and communication sensors and equipment would be utilised by day as well as night for regular surveillance, anti-smuggling operations, interdiction of suspect vessels, coastal security operations and fisheries protection and monitoring. These boats are also extremely useful in SAR, medical evacuations and assistance to fishermen in distress where time within which these can be deployed and reach scene of action is critical. With their speed of 45 Kts and endurance of 500 nautical miles at economical speed, this ship would be asset for coastal security off Chennai. I am confident that basing of this ship here would not only strengthen the security off north Tamil Nadu coast in general and Chennai areas around in particular, but also promptly provide the assistance to fishermen in times of distress.
The Eastern Region of the Coast Guard is responsible for maintaining surveillance along 2207kms of coastline and 4.25 lakhs sq kms of Exclusive economic zone. The responsibility of the Coast Guard has increased manifold due to present day security matrix. The modern technology does assist us in our endeavour of surveillance, however, it is the constabulary presence of our ships and aircrafts in the Maritime Zones of India which acts as a deterrence. I thus exhort the crew of the ship being commissioned to date, to make good use of the state of the art equipment onboard, exploit these to their full potential to enhance the effectiveness of our patrolling. The commissioning crew always has an onerous responsibility of setting the ship on right course. The foundation what you lay in terms of setting of high standards, formulating SOPs and check off lists, establishing the norms for maintenance and expoilation of equipment would stay with the ship for her life cycle and pave the way for her to make mark in the history of ICG. I am confident the ship's crew would sincerely fulfil this responsibility. I take this opportunity to congratulate all ranks of ICGS C-440 on their commissioning and welcome them heartily to the CG fleet of the Eastern Region and wish them successful operations onboard."