Ahmedabad: The Indian Coast Guard on Friday commissioned a new interceptor vessel at Porbandar as part of its efforts to strengthen coastal security along the country’s west coast and to augment patrolling to prevent infiltration, smuggling and illegal fishing.

The ICGS C-161, built by Bharati Defence and Infrastructure Ltd, was commissioned by air marshal R.K. Dhir, the air officer commanding-in-chief of the South Western Air Command. The vessel, measuring 27.64m in length and with a displacement of 107 tonnes, can achieve a maximum speed of 35 knots and is capable of undertaking surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue operations and providing aid to boats and ships in distress.

The vessel, which will be commanded by deputy commandant Gaurav Verma, will be based at Vadinar under the administrative and operational control of the Coast Guard commander for the North West region. As part of its plan, the Coast Guard will be deploying nine more vessels in the Gujarat region by 2021.