On Wednesday, the Indian Coast Guard Ship Saksham (CG-22), a freshly commissioned Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), joined the coast guard fleet Kochi. Under the supervision of deputy inspector general N Ravi, District Commander No. 4 headquarters, a welcome ceremony was held at the ICG jetty in Kochi (Kerala & Mahe).
The 105m-long OPV was commissioned in Goa on March 17 by Ajay Kumar, the defence secretary, and will be headquartered in Kochi to improve CG’s operational capability to carry out a variety of marine missions around the Kerala and Lakshadweep coasts. Goa Shipyard Limited designed and built the fifth in the series of Sachet Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).
The ship, which is currently commanded by deputy inspector general P Rajesh and will be under the administrative and operational responsibility of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (West) through District Commander, Coast Guard District Headquarters No. 4, Kochi, has a complement of 10 officers and 95 men.
The yacht is outfitted with cutting-edge navigation and communication technologies, as well as sensors and gear. The ship also has additional features like as quick reaction boats for rescue and anti-piracy operations, as well as gunnery simulators for practising firing. The hull was created with fuel efficiency, crew comfort, and improved seakeeping qualities in mind.
“To protect India’s maritime interests, the indigenous offshore patrol vessel will be deployed for surveillance of marine zones and other duties as defined in the Coast Guard charter.” The addition of the ICGS Saksham to the fleet after commissioning would strengthen the Indian Coast Guard’s operational capability to ensure maritime safety, security, and environmental preservation and protection, according to a statement.
The ship will be equipped with a twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats, including two inflatable boats, for boarding operations, Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, and Maritime Patrol. The ship may also transport limited pollution-control equipment to help contain oil spills at sea.
Until today, the Coast Guard Kerala & Mahe was in charge of only two large ships. One of them is a member of the Indian Navy’s first training squadron, which is stationed in Kochi and provides training to officers in the Navy and Coast Guard. Using the only other ship to cover the vast distances out at sea and EEZ monitoring on the Western Side was insufficient, and Saksham’s addition will rectify this.