The 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) “VAJRA” has been commissioned in Chennai on 24th March 2021 by India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Singh Rawat, in the presence of Director General (DG) Indian Coast Guard Krishnaswamy Natarajan.
The Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Vessel “Vajra” will strengthen the power and efficiency of Maritime Force Indian Coast Guard in securing the vast coastline of over 7500 km, including an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of over 20 lakh sq KMS. OPV “VAJRA” is the 6th vessel in the series of seven OPV projects.
OVP “Vajra” is developed under the ‘Make in India’ policy. OPV Vajra is a state-of-the-art platform that will increase the capabilities of the Indian Coast Guard in terms of Operation, Surveillance, Search & Rescue. The OPV is empowered with two Navigation Radars along with ultra-modern technology, sophisticated navigational and the latest communication systems. The OPV will help the Indian Coast Guard in executing day and night patrol/surveillance along with anti-terrorist/ anti-smuggling operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as Coastal Security.
‘Vajra’ meaning ‘Thunderbolt’ is the projection of Indian Coast Guard’s will and commitment ‘To Serve and Protect’ the maritime interests of our nation. ICGS Vajra is commanded by Deputy Inspector General Alex Thomas and will be based at Tuticorin under the Operational and Administrative Control of the Commander, Number 16 Coast Guard District (Tuticorin).
ICGS Vajra, the 98-meter OPV, has been designed and built by Larsen & Toubro Ltd at Kattupalli, Chennai and is fitted with State-of-the-Art Navigation and Communication Equipment, Sensors and Machinery. The Ship will be equipped with 30 mm and 12.7 mm Guns with Fire Control System for enhancing its fighting efficiency. The Ship draws approx 2100 tons (GRT) and is propelled by Twin MTU 8000 series engines of 9100 KW each, capable of achieving 26 knots of top speed and endurance of 5000 nm at economical speed. The ship is designed to carry one twin-engine helicopter (ALH MK-III under acceptance by ICG from HAL) and four high-speed boats including two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats for swift Boarding Operations, Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Maritime Patrol. The Ship is also capable of carrying Pollution Response Equipment for oil spill response at Sea. The sustenance and reach, coupled with the latest modern equipment & systems, provides her the capability to perform the role of a Command Platform to accomplish the Coast Guard Charter of Duties.
The ship on joining the Coast Guard Eastern fleet, will be deployed extensively for EEZ surveillance and other duties as enshrined in the Coast Guard Charter, to safeguard the Maritime Interests of India. The Indian Coast Guard with this ship joining the fleet will have 157 Surface assets and 62 Aircraft in its inventory.