India has commissioned a brand new coast guard ship to enhance security and safety along the coasts. The new ship, Vajra was commissioned at a ceremony held at the Chennai Port following all covid protocols.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Bipin Rawat graced the occasion and unveiled a plaque with the ship’s name at the Chennai Port Trust. The ship is named Vajra which is the Hindi word for Thunderbolt.
Vajra is the 6th offshore patrol vessel commissioned by the coast guard for coastal security.
Highly Efficient Sophisticated Vessel
The Indian company Larsen and Toubro Shipbuilding Limited built the ship which is part of a series of offshore patrol vessels built by the company. The sixth one in the series, Vajra has sophisticated navigation and communication systems to aid in coastal security.
According to reports, “the ship has a 30mm gun as the main armament and equipped with two FCS controlled 12.7 mm SRCG (Stabilised Remote Controlled Gun) for enhanced fighting efficiency”.
Along with these, an integrated bridge system, high power external fighting System, bow thruster, and automated power management system are also part of the vessel.
Vajra can carry a twin-engine helicopter with night-flying capabilities along with 4-speed boats and 2 rigid hull inflatable boats for search and rescue operations. These features will ensure better law enforcement and maritime patrolling in coastal areas.
Equipped With Oil Spill Response Facility
The ship is also equipped with pollution response equipment so that it can aid in oil spill situations. The equipment is propelled by twin MTU 8000 series engines, capable of achieving 26 knots of top speed having an endurance capability of 5,000 nautical miles.
Vajra will be steered by Deputy inspector general Alex Thomas who will handle a crew of 14 officers and 88 men onboard the ship. It would be placed under the control of the eastern coast guard and will be stationed at Tuticorin.