New Delhi: ICGS Kamla Devi, the Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) designed, built and delivered by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd to the Indian Coast Guard a few days ago, was commissioned in Kolkata on January 12. Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) Director General DG VS Pathania (PTM, TM) was present as Chief Guest during the ceremony that took place at GRSE’s Fitting Out Jetty. Indian Coast Guard’s CGC (Eastern Seaboard) ADG S Paramesh, GRSE’s CMD Cmde PR Hari, IN (Retd.), Director (Finance) RK Dash, Director (Shipbuilding) Cdr Santanu Bose and senior officials from Indian Coast Guard, GRSE and other organisations were present at the occasion.
Closely following the Ship’s commissioning ceremony, Cmde Hari IN (Retd) flagged-off ‘MV Ma Lisha,’ a Passenger-cum-Cargo Ocean Going Ferry built by the shipyard for the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. This is the first such ship built for exports to a Latin American country by any Defence Public Sector shipyard. The MV Ma Lisha, designed and built by GRSE, will move towards Chennai and once at Chennai, she will be loaded onto a semi-submersible vessel MV Sun Rise for her long voyage to Guyana.
ICGS Kamla Devi is officially the fifth and last vessel of the series of FPVs designed and built by GRSE as per the specifications of the Indian Coast Guard. GRSE is the only Indian shipyard to achieve the unique distinction of delivering 100 warships and this ship is the 108th warship to be delivered by GRSE since 1960 when it became a Defence PSU. GRSE is also the first shipyard to export a warship the Offshore Patrol Vessel MCGS Barracuda to Mauritius back in 2014.
ICGS Kamla Devi is 48.9 meters long and 7.5-meters-wide with a displacement of 308 Tons. With three engines and water jets, she is capable of a top speed of 34 knots and an endurance of over 1,500 nautical miles. She also has an integrated bridge system and is fitted with a 40/60 gun as the main armament. The ship has advanced habitability features with fully air-conditioned accommodations for 35 personnel. Like her sister ships, ICGS Kamla Devi will patrol the seas and carry out anti-smuggling, anti-poaching and search and rescue operations as and when required.
In his address during the commissioning of ICGS Kamla Devi, GRSE CMD thanked the ICG for providing an opportunity to conduct the event within the premises of the shipyard that built the ship. He also added that on Thursday being the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, this is perhaps the most auspicious day for a ship to be commissioned into active service. Cmde Hari also stated that so far GRSE has delivered 36 ships to the ICG and the shipyard is fully seized of the aspirations of the ICG in terms of fleet expansion and expressed his confidence that GRSE would be a major partner in the growth plans of ICG.
DG Pathania ICG, in his address, stated that the ship is being commissioned at a very opportune time to meet the formidable challenges that emanate from the sea.
Complementing the design of the ship, he added that its highly ergonomic state-of-the-art equipment adds to the prowess of ICG’s capabilities for undertaking multifaceted tasks as defined by Coast Guard mandate. He also expressed his sincere appreciation to team GRSE Kolkata, for the remarkable effort towards the delivery of the ship within the contracted timeline.
On January 31, 2021, GRSE and T&HD, Government of Guyana signed the contract for the construction of the Ocean-Going Vessel. The shipyard bagged this prestigious export contract through competitive bidding. The ship was launched on Jaunuay 15, 2022 by Joan Edghill the spouse of Bishop Juan Anthony Edghill, Minister of Public Works, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and within six months GRSE achieved the ‘Technical Acceptance’ of the vessel on December 16, 2022.
The 70-m long vessel with a displacement of 1700 Tonnes is propelled by two diesel Engines and twin disc gearboxes to achieve a maximum speed of 15 knots. The ship has been designed by the GRSE in-house design team and can accommodate 294 passengers (including 14 crew members) along with 14 cars, two trucks, and 14 containers and cargo. The vessel shall operate in the coastal and riverine area of Northwest District of Guyana. The Indian-built vessel plying in Guyana would herald in better ties between the two nations.
During the Flag off Ceremony of the Ocean-Going Passenger & Cargo Ferry Vessel for the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Cmde PR Hari, IN (Retd,), CMD GRSE mentioned that the project is very unique as compared to other projects where the shipyard has adopted a unique strategy by partnering with a smaller shipyard by evolving an effective PPP model. He complimented the Design, Quality Assurance and Project Management teams for their stellar efforts in ensuring the timely completion of the project.
Over the last 62 years, GRSE has built 789 platforms, from Frigates, Corvettes, Fleet Tankers, Landing Ship Tanks, Landing Craft Utilitys, Survey Vessels, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Attack Craft. In 2006, the shipyard has conferred the status of a Miniratna Category I Company.
A few months ago, GRSE became the only defence shipyard in the country to receive the Raksha Mantri Award 2022 for designing the most silent ship for the Indian Navy for Anti-Submarine Warfare operations. Earlier, we have received the Defence Minister’s Award for Excellence for In-house Design Effort for the Offshore Patrol Vessel exported to Mauritius and ‘Best Performing Defence Shipyard of India’ for Four Years in a row.
GRSE is on a growth path, pursuing it’s vision to be globally acknowledged as the ‘Best Shipyard in India’ and reaffirming its motto “In Pursuit of Excellence and Quality in Shipbuilding” while upholding the Atmanirbharta pledge.
(PSU Watch– India’s Business News centre that places the spotlight on PSUs, Bureaucracy, Defence and Public Policy is now on Google News. Click here to follow. Also, join PSU Watch Channel in your Telegram. You may also follow us on Twitter here and stay updated.)