CHENNAI: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned 105-ton indigenously-built Interceptor Boat C-453 which would soon join the Eastern fleet for patrolling the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

This vessel was the penultimate one in the series of 18 vessels, being built by M/s Larsen & Toubro Ltd. ICGS C-453, the 27.80 meters long Interceptor Boat has a Max Speed of 45 knots (85 kmph) and is capable of undertaking multifarious tasks including Surveillance, Interdiction, close coast patrol, Search and Rescue, rendering assistance to boats in distress.

The quick reaction ability coupled with modern equipment and advanced navigation and communication systems provides her with the capability to swiftly respond to any maritime situation at very short notice. ICGS C-453 is commanded by Assistant Commandant Animesh Sharma and will be based at Chennai under the operational control of Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).

With C-453 having joined the fleet, the ICG strength stands at 157 Ships & Boats and 62 Aircraft. Further,40 Ships are at various stages of construction at different shipyards in India and 16 Advanced Light Helicopters MK-III manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore, is also to be inducted into the force. 

The vessel was commissioned by Smt. Leena Nandan, IAS, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, in the presence of Shri Jiwesh Nandan, IAS, Additional Secretary, Department of Defence. Coast Guard Director General Krishnaswamy Natarajan, senior officials of the force and of the L&T shipyard were present. 

It was on February 1st that the ICG stepped into its 45th year of service. Their force has grown from operating seven surface platforms in 1978 to the fourth-largest Coast Guard in the world and are slated to have 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025. 

Amid the pandemic year, the Coast Guard has been deploying 50 ships and 12 aircraft every day to maintain vigil within India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is approximately over 2.3 million square km. The Coast Guard’s actions at sea enabled the seizure of contraband worth about ₹ 1,500 Crore and apprehension of more than 10 foreign fishing boats with 80 miscreants illegally operating in the Indian EEZ in the bygone year.