18:45 GMT28 October 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian Defence Ministry has aimed to equip the Coast Guard by rapidly increasing the number of patrol vessels and aircraft for the country’s smallest armed force. It is expected to have over 200 ships and 110 aircraft by 2025.

    India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has commissioned three ships into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) - Sachet, C-450, and C-451.

    With the recent move, the world's fourth largest coastal force now has 150 ships and 62 aircraft to guard a 7,516 km coastline.

    Sachet, a 105-metre ship designed to carry a twin-engine helicopter, displaces approximately 2,350 tons and is propelled by two 9,100 KW diesel engines. It is also designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots with an endurance of 6,000 nm.

    While hailing the commissioning of ships as an important milestone in the coastal capability-building process, ​Rajnath Singh said that these surface vessels will strengthen the power of the ICG against maritime terrorism, drug trafficking, smuggling, enhance maritime law enforcement and search and rescue operations.

    ​Terming the oceans as lifelines for global prosperity, the minister said “India is an emerging maritime power and our prosperity is dependent on the oceans”.

    “The seas can be routes for asymmetric threats by Anti-National Elements and therefore demand collaborative and cooperative approach amongst all stakeholders”, Rajnath Singh said while adding that the Indian Coast Guard continues to work with their resolve to guard sea shores 24/7 with great determination

    India has been on high alert to protect the 7,516.6 km coastline from infiltration attempts from Pakistan-based terror groups. Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh has noted time and again the ensuing threats on the coastline, while mentioning the intelligence inputs on attempts of the banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) to carry out a seaborne attack on India.

    The Indian Coast Guard deploys at least 50 ships at sea every day and due to high maintenance costs, the force is working under severe financial strain. As per the annual budget for 2021, the Indian Coast Guard has received only $670 million against the projected requirement of $1.1 billion. 

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    coast guard, Rajnath Singh, Indian Defence Ministry, India
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