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Defence Ministry seals deal to procure six patrol vessels for Indian Coast Guard

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Defence Ministry on Wednesday signed a Rs 1,614 crore contract with Mazagon Dockyard Shipbuilders Ltd for procurement of six next generation offshore patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard.

The acquisition of the platforms is aimed at boosting the Coast Guard's capability towards maritime security, the Defence Ministry said.

"The Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Mazagon Dockyard Shipbuilders Ltd on December 20 for the procurement of six next generation offshore patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG)," the Ministry said.

It said the contract was made under the buy (Indian-IDDM) category at a total cost of Rs 1614.89 crore.

Out of the six vessels being procured, four would replace the existing aging offshore patrol vessels and the other two would augment the Coast Guard's fleet.

"The acquisition of these major ICG platforms is aimed to boost the ICG's capability and reinforces the increased focus of the Government towards maritime security," the Ministry said in a statement.

"These modern and high-tech ships will play a critical role in enhancing surveillance, law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime pollution response, and other important capabilities including humanitarian assistance," it said.

It said along with several high-tech advanced features and equipment, these offshore patrol vessels would be equipped with multipurpose drones, AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities, and wirelessly controlled remote water rescue craft lifebuoy, enabling greater flexibility and operational edge.

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