The sixth offshore patrol vessel, the Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Vajra’ was officially commissioned into service on Wednesday, at the Chennai Port Trust.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat formally unveiled a plaque and ship’s name board ‘Varja’ which means ‘Thunderbolt’ at the commissioning event. This ship is indigenously designed and built by Larsen and Turbo Shipbuilding Ltd.
The ship has a 30mm gun as the main armament and equipped with 2 FCS controlled 12.7 mm SRCG (Stabilised Remote-Controlled Gun) for enhanced fighting efficiency. Some of the cutting-edge features of this vessel include an integrated bridge system, high power external fighting system, bow thruster, and automated power management system. It is designed in such a way that it can carry one twin engine helicopter with night flying capabilities and also four high-speed boats, two rigid hull inflatable boats for search and rescue operations, law enforcement, and maritime patrolling.
A pollution response equipment to contain oil spills at sea is also integrated into the vessel, which is propelled by twin MTU 8000 series engines, capable of attaining 26 knots of top speed and endurance of 5,000 nautical miles. Deputy inspector general Alex Thomas is the commanding officer of the ship, which would have 14 officers and 88 sailors.