Indian Coast Guard

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is an armed force that protects India's maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone. The Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 18 August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India as an independent Armed force of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.[7]

Indian Coast Guard
Indian Coast Guard crest
Founded18 August 1978 (1978-08-18)
CountryIndia
TypeCoast Guard
Size15,714 active personnel[1]
178 vessels
44 aircraft
HeadquartersNew Delhi
Motto(s)वयम् रक्षामः (Sanskrit)
Vayam Rakṣāmaḥ (IAST)
We protect (English)[2]
AnniversariesCoast Guard Day: 1 February
Vessels
Websitewww.indiancoastguard.gov.in
Commanders
Director GeneralDirector General Krishnaswamy Natrajan, PTM, TM[3]
Additional Director GeneralAdditional Director General Krupa Ram Nautiyal, PTM, TM[4]
Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard)Additional Director General V.D. Chafekar, PTM, TM [5]
Coast Guard Commander (Eastern Seaboard)Additional Director General Virender Singh Pathania, PTM, TM[6]
Insignia
Ensign
Racing stripe
Aircraft flown
HelicopterHAL Chetak, HAL Dhruv
PatrolDornier Do 228

The Coast Guard works in close cooperation with the Indian Navy, the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Revenue (Customs) and the Central and State police forces.

History

The establishment of the Indian Coast Guard was first proposed by the Indian Navy to provide non-military maritime services to the nation.[8] In the 1960s, sea-borne smuggling of goods was threatening India's domestic economy. The Indian Customs Department frequently called upon the Indian Navy for assistance with patrol and interception in the anti-smuggling effort.

The Nagchaudhuri Committee was constituted with participation from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force to study the problem. In August 1971, the committee identified the requirement to patrol India's vast coastline, set up a registry of offshore fishing vessels in order to identify illegal activity, and establish a capable and well-equipped force to intercept vessels engaged in illegal activities. The committee also looked at the number and nature of the equipment, infrastructure and personnel required to provide those services.[8]

By 1973, India had started a programme to acquire the equipment and started deputing personnel from the Indian Navy for these anti-smuggling and law enforcement tasks, under the provisions of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act. The Indian Navy sensed that the law enforcement nature of these duties diverged from its core mission as a military service. Admiral Sourendra Nath Kohli, then Chief of Naval Staff, hence made a recommendation to the Defence Secretary outlining the need for a separate maritime service to undertake those duties and offering the Navy's assistance in its establishment. On 31 August 1974, the Defence Secretary submitted a note to the Cabinet Secretary proposing cabinet action on Admiral Kohli's recommendation.

As a result, in September 1974, the Indian cabinet set up the Rustamji Committee, under the chairmanship of Khusro Faramurz Rustamji, with participation from the Navy, the Air Force and the Department of Revenue to examine gaps in security and law enforcement between the roles of the Indian Navy and the central and state police forces. The discovery of oil off Bombay High further emphasised the need for a maritime law enforcement and protection service. The committee submitted its recommendation for the establishment of the Indian Coast Guard under the Ministry of Defence on 31 July 1975. Bureaucratic wrangling followed, with the Cabinet Secretary making a recommendation to place the service under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi overruled the Cabinet Secretary and decided to accept the original recommendation of the Rustamji Committee to place the service under the Ministry of Defence.[8]

An interim Indian Coast Guard came into being on 1 February 1977, equipped with two small corvettes and five patrol boats transferred from the Navy. The duties and functions of the service were formally defined in the Coast Guard Act, which was passed by India's parliament on 18 August 1978 and came into immediate effect.

Vice Admiral V A Kamath of the Indian Navy was appointed the founding Director-General. Prime Minister Morarji Desai inspected the Guard of Honour at the service's inauguration. Vice Admiral Kamath proposed a five-year plan to develop the ICG into a potent force by 1984, but the full potential of this plan was not immediately realised due to an economic resource crunch.[8]

One of the historic operational successes of the ICG occurred in October 1999, with the recapture at high seas of a Panamanian-registered Japanese cargo ship, MV Alondra Rainbow, hijacked off Indonesia. Her crew were rescued off Phuket, Thailand. The ship had been repainted as MV Mega Rama, and was spotted off Kochi, heading towards Pakistan. She was chased by ICGS Tarabai and INS Prahar (K98) of the Indian Navy, and apprehended.[9] It was the first successful prosecution of armed pirates in over a century.

The Indian Coast Guard conducts exercises with the other coast guards of the world. In May 2005, the ICG agreed to establish liaison links with Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency (PMSA). In 2006, the Indian Coast Guard conducted exercises with its Japanese and Korean counterparts.

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the Indian government initiated a programme to expand the ICG force, assets and infrastructure. The force aims to have 150 ships and 100 twin-engined aircraft by 2020 in its fleet.[10]

Present scenario

Current role

The Indian Coast Guard's motto is "वयम रक्षामः" (Vayam Rakshamah), which translates from Sanskrit as "We Protect".

Missions of Indian Coast Guard:[11]

  • Safety and protection of artificial islands, offshore terminals and other installations
  • Protection and assistance to fishermen and mariners at sea
  • Preservation and protection of marine ecology and environment including pollution control
  • Assistance to the Department of Customs and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations
  • Law enforcement in territorial as well as international waters
  • Scientific data collection and support
  • National defence during hostilities (under the operational control of the Indian Navy)

Additional responsibilities of the Indian Coast Guard:[12]

  • Offshore Security Coordination Committee (OSCC) – The Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard is the Chairman of OSCC constituted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG).
  • National Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinating Authority (NMSARCA) – The Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard is the NMSARCA for executing / coordinating search and rescue (SAR) missions
  • Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) – For coastal and sea borders
  • Coastal Security – The Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard is the commander of coastal command and is responsible for overall coordination between central and state agencies in all matters relating to coastal security

Leadership and organisation

The Indian Coast Guard organisation is headed by the Director-General (DG ICG) who is located at Coast Guard Headquarters (CGHQ), New Delhi. At CGHQ, he is assisted by four Deputy Director-Generals of the rank of Inspector-General, and other senior officers heading various staff divisions. The current Director-General is Krishnaswamy Natrajan, PTM, TM.[13]

Director-General of Indian Coast Guard is equivalent to Vice Admiral of Indian Navy.[14]

The Indian Coast Guard operates five regions. Each region is headed by an officer of the rank of Inspector-General. Each of the regions is further divided into multiple districts, typically covering a coastal state or a union territory.

Coast Guard regions Regional HQ location Regional commander
Western Region (W)MumbaiIG Vijay Chafekar PTM, TM[15]
Eastern Region (E)ChennaiIG Parmesh Sivamani, PTM, TM[16][17]
North-East Region (NE)KolkataIG Rajan Bargotra, TM[18]
Andaman & Nicobar Region (A&N)Port BlairIG Maneesh V Pathak[19]
North-West Region (NW)GandhinagarIG Rakesh Pal [20]

By the end of 2012, the Indian Coast Guard is on track to operate:[21]

  • 42 Coast Guard Stations
  • 5 Coast Guard Air Stations
  • 10 Coast Guard Air Enclaves

List of Coast Guard Stations

There are currently 42 Coast Guard stations which have been established along the coastline of the country. Presently, there is no proposal for setting-up more Coast Guard Stations.[22]

Regional HQ District HQ Coast Guard Station
North-East Region (NE) CGRHQ Kolkata CGAE Kolkata
ICGS Kolkata
DHQ-7 Paradip CGAE Bhubaneswar
ICGS Gopalpur
DHQ-8 Haldia ICGS Frazerganj
Eastern Region (E) CGRHQ Chennai DHQ-13 Puducherry ICGS Thoothukudi
ICGS Mandapam
ICGS Puducherry
DHQ-5 Chennai CGAS Chennai
ICGS Karaikal
DHQ-6 Visakhapatnam ICGS Kakinada
ICGS Nizampatnam[23]
ICGS Krishnapatnam
CGAE Visakhapatnam (Proposed)[24][25]
Andaman & Nicobar Region (A&N) CGRHQ Port Blair CGAE Port Blair
DHQ-14 Port Blair ICGS Port Blair
ICGS Hutbay
DHQ-9 Diglipur ICGS Mayabunder[26]
ICGS Diglipur
DHQ-10 Campbell Bay ICGS Campbell Bay
ICGS Kamorta
Western Region (W) CGRHQ Mumbai DHQ-3 New Mangaluru ICGS Karwar[27]
CGAE New Mangaluru[28]
DHQ-2 Mumbai ICGS Murud Janjira
ICGS Ratnagiri
ICGS Dahanu
DHQ-4 Kochi ICGS Vizhinjam
ICGS Beypore
CGAE Kochi
DHQ-11 Goa ICGS Goa
CGAE Goa
DHQ-12 Kavaratti ICGS Kavaratti
ICGS Minicoy
ICGS Androth
CGAS Daman
North-West Region (NW) CGRHQ Gandhinagar ICGS Gandhinagar
DHQ-1 Porbandar ICGS Pipavav
ICGS Jakhau
ICGS Mundra
ICGS Veraval
ICGS Vadinar
ICGS Okha
CGAE Porbandar

Personnel

Officer Rank Structure

A table showing the rank structure of Coast Guard officers with those of the other Indian armed services.

Indian Coast Guard Ranks Indian Army Ranks Indian Navy Ranks Indian Air Force Ranks
Director-GeneralLieutenant GeneralVice AdmiralAir Marshal
Additional Director-GeneralLieutenant GeneralVice AdmiralAir Marshal
Inspector-GeneralMajor GeneralRear AdmiralAir Vice Marshal
Deputy Inspector-GeneralBrigadierCommodoreAir Commodore
CommandantColonelCaptainGroup Captain
Commandant (Junior Grade)Lt ColonelCommanderWing Commander
Deputy CommandantMajorLt CommanderSquadron Leader
Assistant Commandant (2 Years)CaptainLieutenantFlight Lieutenant
Assistant CommandantLieutenantSub LieutenantFlying Officer

Ranks and Insignia of Indian Coast Guard Officers

Equivalent
NATO code
OF-10OF-9OF-8OF-7OF-6OF-5OF-4OF-3OF-2OF-1OF(D) and student officer
 Indian Coast Guard[29]
Director General Inspector General Deputy Inspector General (3-year seniority) Deputy Inspector General Commandant Deputy Commandant Assistant Commandant Assistant Commandant (under probation)

Coast Guard Officers

The naming of ranks of officers in the Coast Guard is as same as rank of Central Armed Police Forces. Officers are appointed in the Coast Guard in one of four branches, as either General-Duty officer, Pilot officer, Technical officer or Law officers. Lady Officers have two branches i.e. General-Duty Officer or Pilot Officer and serve on shore establishments/Air Stations/Headquarters. They are not deployed on board Indian Coast Guard ships. Currently, officers of Indian Coast Guard undergo Basic Military Training at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala along with their counterparts of Indian Navy. This helps in the mutual interchange of Officers among these two sister services. While the Indian Coast Guard Academy is under construction in Azhikkal, Kannur district, Kerala.[30]

General-Duty Officers

The command of ships at sea can only be exercised by officers of the General-Duty (GD) branch. The key functions of a General-Duty Officer would be to operate weapons, sensors and different kinds of equipment on board a ship. The safety of the ship and the men would be GD officers responsibility. All the District Commanders (COMDIS) and Commander of Coast Guard Region (COMCG) appointments are exercised by a GD Officer of the Indian Coast Guard.

Pilot Officers

Pilot Officers are also part of GD branch. A Pilot Officer gets an opportunity to work at shore Air Stations along the Indian coasts and also embark ships. ICG operates fixed wing aircraft for surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone. In addition, helicopters are embarked on Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) to provide local surveillance and perform search and rescue mission at sea.

Technical Officers

Technical Officers are responsible for operation of advanced technology and sensor systems on board Coast Guard vessels and aircraft, as well as on shore installations. They also command the maintenance wings of the force.

Law Officers

Law Officers act as legal advisers to their respective commanders. They represent the Indian Coast Guard in legal actions filed by or against the organisation. They also perform the duties of trial law officers in Coast Guard courts, convened to try delinquent Coast Guard personnel. The Directorate of Law at Coast Guard Headquarters is headed by a Deputy Inspector-General and is designated as the Chief Law Officer. Section 115 of the Coast Guard Act, 1978 deals with the qualifications necessary to be appointed as the Chief Law Officer of Indian Coast Guard. Section 116 of the Coast Guard Act, 1978 defines the functions of the Chief Law Officer.

Enrolled personnel

Enrolled personnel in the Coast Guard serve as either a yantrik (technician) or navik (sailor).[31]

  • Yantriks are responsible for operating and maintaining mechanical, electrical or aeronautical equipment and systems on board the Coast Guard vessels and aircraft.
  • Naviks may further serve in the General-Duty or Domestic branches. The General-Duty naviks serve as sailors, weapons systems operators, communication specialists, divers, etc. or in specific maritime or aviation support roles. Domestic branch naviks serve in roles such as stewards, cooks, etc. on board Coast Guard vessels.

Enrolled personnel of Indian Coast Guard are trained along with Indian Naval sailors at the naval training establishment INS Chilka. All training undertaken by Coast Guard personnel is the same as those undertaken by sailors in the Indian Navy. All personnel are trained in operation of weapons systems in cases of emergency.

Equipment

Current aircraft

Aircraft Picture Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Maritime patrol
Dornier Do 228  Germany Reconnaissance 101/201[32] 23[33]
Airbus C-295  Spain Maritime patrol C-295MPA 0 Total six aircraft to be purchased.
Price negotiations concluded.[34]
Helicopters
HAL Dhruv  India Utility Mk. I 4[35][33] 16 Mk. III on order.[36][37]
HAL Chetak  India Utility 17[33]

Current vessels

Vessels belonging to the Indian Coast Guard bear the prefix "ICGS" – Indian Coast Guard Ship.

Class Picture Origin Type Commissioned Displacement Vessels Comment
Pollution control vessels (3)
Samudra class  IndiaPollution control vessel2010–present3,300 tons3
Offshore patrol vessels (19)
Vikram class  India Offshore patrol vessel 2018–present 2,140 tons 4 A total of 7 vessels on order.[38][39]
Samarth class  IndiaOffshore patrol vessel2015–present2,400 tons6A follow-on order for 5 more vessels was placed in August 2016.[40]
Vishwast class  IndiaOffshore patrol vessel2010–present1,800 tons3
Sankalp class  India Offshore patrol vessel 2008–present 2,325 tons 2 As per ICG website[41]
Samar class  IndiaOffshore patrol vessel1996–present2,300 tons4
Fast Patrol vessels (43)
Aadesh class  IndiaFast patrol vessel2013–present290 tons20
Rajshree class  IndiaFast patrol vessel2012–present275 tons10A follow-up order of 5 more ships was placed with deliveries starting in mid-2019.[42][43]
Rani Abbaka class  IndiaFast patrol vessel2009–present275 tons5
Sarojini Naidu class  IndiaFast patrol vessel2002–present270 tons7
Priyadarshini class  IndiaFast patrol vessel1992–present215 tons16 decommissioned[44][45]
Patrol boats (68)
Bharati class  IndiaPatrol boat2013–present107 tons69 more to be commissioned
L&T class  IndiaFast interceptor boat2012–present90 tons40A total of 54 are planned
ABG class  IndiaFast interceptor boat2000–present90 tons13
AMP class  India
 United Kingdom
Interceptor boat1993–present44 tons54 decommissioned. 1 leased to Mauritius.
Swallow Craft class  South KoreaInshore patrol boat1980–present32 tons42 decommissioned. 2 stricken.
Patrol craft (27)
Timblo class  IndiaInterceptor craft2010–present7 tons10
Bristol class  India
 United Kingdom
Interceptor craft2004–present5 tons4
Vadyar class  IndiaInterceptor craft1988–present2 tons8
Mandovi Marine class  IndiaPatrol boat1980s-present?10 tons5?Status unknown.
Hovercraft (18)
Griffon class  United KingdomHovercraft2000–present27 tons186 H-181(Griffon 8000TD) and 12 H-187(Griffon 8000TD)[46]

Former vessels

Vessels belonging to the Indian Coast Guard bear the prefix "ICGS" – Indian Coast Guard Ship.

Class Picture Origin Type Commissioned Displacement Comment
Patrol vessels (11)
Tara Bai class  India
 Singapore
Coastal patrol vessel1987–2014236 tonsAll 6 have been decommissioned.[47]
Rajhans class  IndiaPatrol vessel1980–2016200 tonsAll 5 have been decommissioned.[48]
Vikram class  IndiaOffshore patrol vessel1983–20191,220 tons6 decommissioned, 1 lost, 2 transferred

Future of the Indian Coast Guard

Future vessels

The following is a table of vessel classes which are either under construction or planned, but have not yet entered service.

Class Origin Type Commission (est.) Displacement Planned Comment
Reliance class  India Fast patrol vessel January 2019 14 Contract was signed for $138 million[49][50][51]
ICGS Varuna  India Training vessel May 2019 3,000 tons 1 [52][53]

See also

References

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