The Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Abhiraj, the fourth in the series of 20 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, was commissioned on 02 Sep 2014 at Tuticorin by Vice Adm SPS Cheema Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command in the presence of Inspector General SP Sharma Commander Coast Guard Region (East) and other senior dignitaries of the Central and State govt.
The 50 meter indigenous FPV displaces 290 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at an economical speed of 13 knots. The ship is equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and advanced communication and navigational equipment. The ship makes an ideal platform for undertaking multifarious missions such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and medical evacuation. The special features of the ship include an Integrated Bridge Management System (IBMS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS) and an integrated gun mount with indigenous Fire Control System (FCS).
The ship which has been named ICGS “Abhiraj”, literally meaning “Brilliant”, will be based at Tuticorin and will be under administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).
In his address during the commissioning ceremony, Vice Adm SPS Cheema termed the fast patrol vessels as the work horses of Indian Coast Guard. The Admiral also dwelt upon the fast paced development of the Indian Coast Guard and acknowledged the support of government for the Coast Guard’s plan to increase force levels substantially to face the emerging security challenges in the maritime domain. He emphasised the importance that the Government of India accords to the coastal security in view of the asymmetric threats from the sea.
The ship is commanded by Commandant (JG) Ashok Kumar and has complement of 05 officers and 34 other ranks.
(Text and photo by Ministry of Defence, New Delhi)