Strengthening its presence and fleet in the Indian maritime zone to tackle terrorist activities in the post 26/11 scenario, the Indian Coast Guard is planning to procure 40 ships of different types for its fleet.
"We will soon issue global tenders for procuring six Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) and 20 interceptor boats for increasing our strength in the maritime boundary along both the eastern and western sea-board," Coast Guard officials told PTI here.
The sea-guarding agency has already initiated the procurement process by issuing a global Request for Information to both Indian and global ship manufacturers.
The vessels, officials said, would be used to protect India's offshore assets such as oilrigs and fishing trawlers along with launching operations against narcotics smugglers and search and rescue missions.
Of the three different types of ships to be procured, the OPVs would be largest.
The Coast Guard wants OPVs to be around 100 meters long and not weighing more than 2,000 tonnes in displacement and would be operated by a crew of over 100 personnel including officers.
Post 26/11, the Government had approved a massive expansion plan for the Coast Guard.
The country's 7,500 km long coastline touches nine states and four Union territories and is dotted with 12 major and 180 minor ports.
Coast Guard Chief Vice Admiral Anil Chopra had said the force levels and the manpower in the force would increase by double in "next few years" and triple in the next decade.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had sanctioned the 40 ships, 20 boats and 42 aircraft in February last year and later accepted the need for another seven Offshore Patrol vessels, 20 Fast patrol vessels and 12 Dornier aircraft.
Terrorists had used the sea route to enter Mumbai on November 26, 2008 for carrying out attacks on multiple targets in which over 160 people were killed.
Setting up of 227 Coastal Police Stations is also being planned in two phases.