RNEL-built Coast Guard training ship launched
Pipavav (Gujarat) : ICGS Varuna, an indigenously-designed training vessel built by Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited for the Indian Coast Guard, was launched here on Wednesday.
The vessel was formally launched at a function held in the presence of Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh at the Pipavav Shipyard.
Speaking at the launch, Singh said: "Currently the ICGS has a fleet of 138 vessels. While another 71 vessels are under various phases of construction."
He also appealed the RNEL to deliver the vessels to the Coast Guard on schedule without any delays.
Speaking at the ocassion, RNEL CEO Debashis Bir said that the vessel would be delivered to the Indian Coast Guard by end of May 2019 after extensive tests and trials.
Bir said the ICGS Varuna is a 105-metre long vessel with a compliment of 242 officers and sailors. It is powered by twin diesel engines and can reach speeds of 20 knots.
"The vessel is a first-of-its kind next-generation training ship and has been entirely designed by the design bureau of RNEL."
He said that the vessel is equipped with ultra-modern navigation and communication systems.
Appealing for a level playing field, Bir said: "There are five ship yards in the public sector and two large shipyards in the private sector. The total order book of the PSU shipyards is Rs 2 lakh crore, whereas their combined turnover was just about Rs 8,000 crore per annum."
"In comparison, the two private shipyards have an order book of only Rs 6,000 crore," he said.
According to RNEL, apart from ICGS Varuna, the company is constructing 19 other vessels - five offshore patrol vessel and 14 fast patrol vessels.
(Anand Singh is in Pipav on the invite of RNEL. He can be contacted at Anand.email@example.com)