Reliance Naval launches next gen training ship for Indian Coast Guard

reliance-naval Director General Indian Coast Guard, DG Rajendra Singh and RNEL CEO Debashis Bir during the launch of ICGS Varuna, an indigenously-designed training vessel built by Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited for the Indian Coast Guard at Pipavav Shipyard on Wednesday | PTI

Reliance Naval and Engineering (RNEL) on Wednesday launched a 3,000-tonne training ship for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The state-of-the-art training vessel will be delivered to the ICG in May next year.

The 105-metre long training vessel, the largest ship ever built for the ICG, was launched at the auspices of Urmila Singh, wife of Rajendra Singh, the Director General of the Indian Coast Guard, at the shipyard of RNEL at the Pipavav Port in Amreli district of Gujarat.

The ship, built at a cost of Rs 220 crore, was named by Urmila Singh as ICGS Varuna at a ceremony attended by a large gathering of Coast Guard officers and government officials.

RNEL chief executive officer Debashis Bir told the gathering that the vessel will join the Indian Coast Guard fleet in May 2019 after extensive tests and trials.

According to a press release by RNEL, the training ship has the primary role to impart sea training to cadets, including an all-round exposure to the lives of coast guard officers. The vessel is 105 meters long, with a capacity of accommodating 242 personnel. The vessel is powered by twin diesel engines of 10,400KW and can move at a speed of 20knots. The vessel is also equipped with weapons systems and is capable of policing maritime zones of the country as well as for search and rescue missions. The vessel’s capability also includes operating a twin-engine helicopter for undertaking maritime reconnaissance.

RNEL claims that the vessel is a first-of-its-kind next generation training ship for trainee officers, and has been entirely designed by the Design Bureau of Reliance Naval & Engineering. ICGS Varuna is a “synergy of the latest cutting-edge technology and 40 years of operational experience of the Indian Coast Guard, in terms of architecture, ergonomics, training requirements and maintenance envelopes,” said the press release.

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Naval and Engineering is one of the largest shipbuilding facility in India. The shipyard has an installed throughput of 140,000 tons of steel, equivalent to an annual revenue of a minimum Rs 4,000 crore. Presently, RNEL is constructing 20 ships of three categories for the defence services of the country—these are five Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels and 14 Fast Patrol Vessels.