India announces coast guard expansion plan

Published 5 February 2007

Country will buy fifteen new ships and twenty-three more aircraft, including UAVs; coast guard looks for deep water capabilities capable of assisting with coastal counter-terror missions

Two countries last week announced reinvigorated efforts to improve coastal security: Yemen, which has ongoing problems with fighters crossing the border into Africa, and India. Of the two, only the latter announced semisolid plans, and so we focus here in India’s decision to expand its coast guard by purchasing fifteen new ships and twenty-three new aircraft.

The intent of the fifteen year plan is to provide the Indian Coast Cuard, already responsible for patrolling 2 million square kilometers of water, a deep-water capability, while at the same time improving the force’s ability to support a series of marine police stations currently in development. The force currently operates seventy-six ships and forty-five aircraft, with an additional twenty-four currently under construction. These include five Fast Patrol Vessels, two Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels and eleven Interceptor Boats. Under the proposed exapansion, the force would purchase multi-mission maritime aircraft, twin engine helicopters, and UAVs.

Linguists take note: The work will be accomplished entirely in jargon. Said Coast Guard Vice Admiral R. F. Contractor: “More ways and means will have to found to cater to the expansion plans of the service, like going in for more private shipyards and streamlining of procedures.”

-read more in this India Channel report