The Indian Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Vessel, ICGS Varad was commissioned into service by Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya at a function held at Chennai Port on February 28, 2020. The Director-General of the Coast Guard, K Natarajan was also present on the occasion.
The ICGS Varad will be deployed at Paradip in Odisha, under the operational control of the North-Eastern Region’s Coast Guard. Commanded by Commandant Pintu Bag, the coast guard vessel will be manned by 11 officers and 91 personnel.
The induction of the ship into the fleet of the Indian Coast Guard has taken its total tally to 147 ships and boats and 62 aircraft.
ICGS Varad: Key Features
• The Offshore Patrol Vessel, ICGS Varad has been designed and built by Larsen and Toubro at its shipyard in Kattupalli, near Chennai.
• The vessel is the first major defence ship to clear all the sea trials in one single sea sortie, creating a record of sorts in the Indian shipbuilding industry.
• The 98m-long vessel is fitted with advanced navigation and communication equipment, machinery and sensors. It also comprises 30 mm and 12.7 mm guns.
• Besides this, the vessel has special features including a platform management system, integrated bridge system, high power external fire-fighting system and automated power management system.
• The ship also has the capacity to carry four high-speed boats and a twin-engine helicopter for search and rescue operations and law enforcement and maritime patrol. The vessel can also carry pollution response equipment in case of an oil spill at the sea.
• Further, the vessel propelled by two 9100kw diesel engines can attain a maximum speed of 26 knots. It can operate for almost 5000 nautical miles at a stretch without refueling.
ICGS Varad will be deployed for the surveillance of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The vessel will also be responsible to safeguard the maritime interests of the country.
ICGS Varad is the fifth in the series of seven offshore patrol vessels, being constructed by Larsen and Toubro as a part of their March 2015 contract with the Union Defence Ministry.
With ICGS Varad’s induction, the Indian Coast Guard now has 147 ships and boats and 62 aircraft. The coast guard also has 58 more ships, which are under various stages of construction currently at different Indian shipyards. Besides this, 16 Advanced Light Helicopters are also under production by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).