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The Indian navy on Monday commissioned its largest off shore patrol vessel INS Saryu for maritime surveillance around Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Built at Goa Shipyard Limited, the 105-meter vessel is the first of the four new class naval off shore patrol vessels (NOPVs) that would be commissioned by the Indian Navy over next one-and-half year.
"The ship will help the navy to discharge its duty on the eastern coast. It will patrol the exclusive economic zone around the islands as it has a capacity to be off shore for a month on its own," Air Marshal P K Roy, Commander in Chief of Andaman and Nicobar Command of Indian Navy, said.
Air Marshal Roy commissioned the ship in Vasco town near here today in presence of senior naval officials.
"This is an important step towards security of our maritime assets based near Andaman and Nicobar Islands," he said, adding that the security of a few of the islands which are uninhabited is crucial.
"There are 500 islands of which many are not inhabited," he said, adding that the area around Andaman and Nicobar Islands is strategic from naval point of view.
Indian Navy officials said INS Saryu will also be important to provide secured environment for oil installations off Andaman and Nicobar coast.
"The vessel can also be deployed for escorting high value ships and fleet support operations," a senior official added.
"The ship is the Indian Navy's largest off shore patrol vessel, the first in its class," said Rear Admiral (Retd) Vineet Bakhshi, Chairman and Managing Director of Goa Shipyard Limited.
The second ship in this class would be delivered by May this year and the rest two ships within an interval of six months each thereafter, he added.