Chennai: The Indian Navy Thursday commissioned its fourth indigenously built offshore patrol vehicle - INS Sumitra.
Navy chief Admiral R.K. Dhowan, who commissioned the vessel here, said it would play a major role in patrolling India's eastern seaboard.
Dhowan said it will be an important component under the Eastern Naval Command, "which has the responsibility of countering the maritime challenges in the Bay of Bengal and the waters of the adjoining Eastern Indian Ocean Region".
Designed and built by Goa Shipyard Limited, INS Sumitra aptly demonstrates the immense potential of India's indigenous design and ship building capability.
Measuring about 105 metres in length, 13 metres in breadth and displacing 2,200 tonnes, the ship can achieve speed of 25 knots with an endurance of 6,000 nautical miles.
Complimenting the efforts of naval ship designers and defence sector shipyards, Dhowan said over the years India has progressively designed and constructed 120 warships and submarines of various categories in difference shipyards.
"The blue print for the future Indian Navy is firmly anchored on self-reliance and indigenisation and currently we have 41 ships and submarines under construction in various public and private shipyards within the country," the navy chief said.
"It is a matter of great pride that over the decades, we have transformed from a 'Buyer's Navy' to a 'Builders' Navy'," he said after unveiling the commissioning plaque and dedicating the ship to the nation.
INS Sumitra is the first major ship being based at Chennai in recognition of the growing importance of the region and enhanced surveillance needs.
The primary role of the ship is to undertake surveillance of the country's Exclusive Economic Zone besides other operational tasks such as anti-piracy patrols, fleet support operations, maritime security of off-shore assets and escort operations of high value naval platforms.