Mumbai: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is celebrating its 47th Raising Day on Tuesday. From a modest beginning with just seven surface platforms in 1978, the ICG today has 158 ships and 78 aircraft and is likely to achieve the targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025.
True to its motto ‘Vayam Rakshamah’ (We Protect), the service has saved 11,881 lives since its inception, with 279 lives saved in 2022 alone.
The ICG seized weapons, contraband and narcotics worth `2,924 crore last year. The recent case of apprehension of a Pakistani boat with about 40 kg narcotics along with six pistols, 12 magazines and 120 live rounds is an example of ICG’s robust detection and response mechanism.
On the aviation front, the coast guard is now more focused on updating its capabilities. Recently, it concluded a maiden contract for 10 multicopter drones, capable of being launched from both ships and shore. Further, to overcome the obsolescence in Dorniers, a contract has been signed for mid-life upgrade of 17 aircraft with state-of-the-art system/sensors.
Procurement of additional 100 drones by 2025, multi mission maritime surveillance aircraft and twin engine helicopters are also envisaged.
In addition, modernisation of airfields operated by the coast guard is also being undertaken under the ‘Modernisation of Air Field Infrastructure’ project. On the marine environment protection front, the ICG ensured that there were no major oil spill incidences in Indian waters throughout the last year.
The ICG has been a pioneer in inducting indigenous assets in line with ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ wherein the Service recently inducted six ships built at Indian shipyards, and four air squadrons in 2002. Further, 21 ships are under construction at three shipyards.
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