Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday attended the commissioning ceremony of Indian Coast Guard's offshore patrol vessel ‘Varaha’ in Chennai. Varaha is an offshore patrol vehicle developed by a private agency in accordance with a contract signed with the Defence Ministry. The Union Defence Ministry had awarded the contract to Larsen and Turbo in March 2015 for construction of seven Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The firm is to build seven offshore patrol vehicles as part of this contract out of which the first two have already been delivered and commissioned in the Indian navy. In a tweet from its official Twitter handle, Ministry of Defence announced-
Today, as Varaha joins the Indian Coast Guard fleet, I wish the Commanding Officer and the crew all the very best and may "Lord Varuna" always bestow his blessings on them for contributing effectively towards the Nation's Maritime Interest, keeping our flag flying high: RM— à¤°à¤•à¥ÂÂÂà¤·à¤¾ à¤®à¤‚à¤¤à¥ÂÂÂà¤°à¥€ à¤•à¤¾à¤°à¥ÂÂÂà¤¯à¤¾à¤²à¤¯/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) September 25, 2019
Varaha has state of the art technology, navigation and communication equipment, designed to carry one twin engine light helicopter and also has capabilities of flying in night.
ICGS Varaha has been planned to be based at New Mangalore. This ship carries limited oil spill equipment to contain oil spills.
Howver, Rajnath Singh recently became the first defence minister to fly in the indigenously-built light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas. The Defence Minister took off in the Tejas fighter aircraft from the HAL airport in Bengaluru for a sortie which lasted for around 30 minutes. Wearing a G suit, holding his helmet under his arms and sporting aviator glasses, Singh looked every inch a fighter pilot. He was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari, who is also the Project Director, National Flight Test Centre, ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) in Bengaluru.