Kolkata: Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd achieved another milestone by launching the Fast Patrol Vessel (GRSE Yard 2118) being built for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) while recording 60% work completion on the launch day. Till date, GRSE has built and delivered over 100 ships to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard and the 1st shipyard in the country to have exported a warship.
The FPV was christened May 2 Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) “Kamla Devi” by Smt. Neela Pathania, wife of DG Virender Singh Pathania, PTM, TM, Director General, Indian Coast Guard. DG Virender Singh Pathania graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Also present during the launching ceremony were Cmde PR Hari, Chairman and Managing Director (Officiating), GRSE, Shri RK Dash, Director Finance GRSE, IG Maneesh Vishal Pathak COMCG (NE) and IG DR Sharma DDG(M&M) and Senior officials of GRSE and M/s TWL.
This ship has an interesting history as originally, ‘Kamla Devi’ was scheduled to be the fourth ship in the series of five such FPVs that GRSE was contracted to build for the ICG and now she is the last in the series. GRSE has already completed construction of five ships of this series well within schedule. However, the 4th in the series was exported to the Republic of Seychelles as the ‘SCG PS Zoroaster’ by the Government of India in 2021.
Incidentally, ICGS Kamladevi is named after social reformer and freedom activist ‘Kamladevi Chattopadhyay’ who worked towards the upliftment of artisans and craftsmen across the country and development of the performing arts. She also worked for the socio-economic upliftment of women in India and was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.
This ship’s launch is well ahead of schedule with ‘Start Production’, the first key milestone of this ship being achieved on March 15, 2021, followed by the Keel Laying on July 15, 2021, exactly four months thereafter. A noteworthy progress of more than 60% on this FPV has been achieved by GRSE at the launching stage.
GRSE has proven expertise in design & construction of Patrol Vessels having delivered over 40 Patrol Ships to Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard since 1960.The entire design of these FPV ships have been developed in-house by GRSE as per requirements specified by Indian Coast Guard. These ships are 48.9M long & 7.5M wide with a displacement of around 308 Tons and are designed for a maximum speed of 34 knots with an endurance of more than 1500 nautical miles.
These ships are equipped with 03 nos Main Engines with advanced control systems, Water Jet units and an ‘Integrated Bridge System’ integrating all Communication and Navigation Systems. These ships are also fitted with 40/60 Gun as main armament and will also have improved habitability features with fully air-conditioned modular accommodation for 35 personnel. These ships are used for anti-smuggling, anti-poaching and rescue operations at sea.
The Chief Guest DG Virender Singh Pathania acknowledged the long association of GRSE with the Indian Coast Guard. He appreciated the technological advancements made by GRSE in recent times and expressed his confidence that future of shipbuilding is in safe hands.
Speaking on the occasion, Cmde PR Hari highlighted that GRSE’s association with the Indian Coast Guard goes way back to 1980 having delivered their first vessel, CGS Rajhans, a high-speed Patrol Vessel commissioned in 1981. He also spoke on how GRSE is now building 23 ships and orders for 19, including 7 international vessels, were bagged through competitive bidding. Even during the pandemic, GRSE continued to deliver ships to the Navy and Coast Guard. “GRSE in the last 5 years, has delivered 19 warships, and this is a record,” Cmde Hari said.
GRSE in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with M/s TWL is building this replacement vessel at the latter’s premises. GRSE, for long, has been trying to develop a vibrant ecosystem in shipbuilding in the region to boost the economy and generate employment, and this tie-up with TWL is a step towards this.
“The future looks promising for GRSE, thanks to our continuous research and innovation, excellent product quality and world class infrastructure. This is backed by strong corporate structure and governance, coupled with competent and experienced human capital and strategic alliances with competent private players. GRSE is also in the final phase of a visioning exercise with a consultancy firm which would enable the shipyard to improve upon its operational efficiency,” the GRSE CMD added.