New Delhi: Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, was the Chief Guest for the launching ceremony of the 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV-6) ‘Vajra’ today in Chennai. The ship will be utilized for day and night patrol & surveillance along with anti-terrorist and anti-smuggling operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as for coastal security. The OPV will have two navigation radars with ultra-modern technology, and sophisticated navigational and communication systems.
Speaking at the event, Mandaviya said the 6th OPV will strengthen the Indian Coast Guard efforts for securing over 7,500 km of thecoastline, an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of over 20 lakh sq km, and more than one lakh merchant ships transiting per year through Indian waters for global trade.
The Shipping Minister recalled the maritime history of India and stated that National Maritime Heritage Complex will be developed at Lothal, Gujarat, for securing and showcasing the maritime heritage of India, adding that India has always been a strong player in maritime technology since the Indus valley civilisation except for a few centuries, and showed the confidence that India is regaining its maritime capabilities with a dedicated approach in terms of ship-building and protecting the waters of India.
Mandaviya also congratulated L&T Shipbuilding for the delivery of the vessel on time. The OPV launched is the sixth in the series of seven OPV projects being built by L&T Shipbuilding under the ‘Make in India’ policy.
Shipping Minister Mandaviya added that OPV-6 is truly a state-of-the-art platform which will enhance the capabilities of the Indian Coast Guard in terms of operation, surveillance, search & rescue. Mandaviya appreciated that within a span of 43 years, the Indian Coast Guard has increased its fleet strength and is now one of the largest coast guards in the world.
The launch ceremony was witnessed by Director General K Natarajan, PTM, TM, Director General Indian coast Guard, Inspector General S Paramesh, PTM, TM, Commander Coast Guard Region (East) and other senior officials.
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