Indian Coast Guard

भारतीय तटरक्षक
Bharatiya Tatrakshak

Indian Coast Guard crest
Active 1978–Present
Country India
Type Coast Guard
Size 15,714 active personnel[1]
160 vessels
60 aircraft
Headquarters New Delhi
Motto(s) वयम् रक्षामः (Sanskrit: We Protect[2])
Anniversaries Coast Guard Day: 2 February
Director General Director General Rajendra Singh, PTM, TM
Additional Director General ADG V S R Murthy, PTM, TM[3]
Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard) ADG Krishnaswamy Natarajan, PTM, TM [4]
Aircraft flown

HAL Chetak

HAL Dhruv
Patrol Dornier Do 228

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) 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.[5]

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.


SS Nautilus, a ship used by Royal Indian Navy to patrol Indian coasts during World War II

The establishment of the Indian Coast Guard was first proposed by the Indian Navy to provide non-military maritime services to the nation.[6] 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.[6]

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.[6]

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.[6]

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 was 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.[7] It was the first successful prosecution of armed pirates in over a century.

Indian Coast Guard ship and helicopter during the Search and Rescue Workshop and Exercise (SAREX), 2014

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.[8]


Current role

Coast Guard Office in Kochi, Kerala

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

Missions of Indian Coast Guard:[9]

Additional responsibilities of the Indian Coast Guard:[10]

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-General's of the rank of Inspector-General, and other senior officers heading various staff divisions. The current Director-General is Rajendra Singh, PTM, TM.[11]

The Indian Coast Guard has recently got its first three-star rank officer ADG Rajendra Singh Additional Director-General, PTM, TM, who has the distinction of being the first regular direct entry officer of the Indian Coast Guard to be promoted to the rank of ADG on 11 January 2013. Additional Director-General of Indian Coast Guard is equivalent to Vice Admiral of Indian Navy.[12]

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) Mumbai IG V S Pathania, TM[13]
Eastern Region (E) Chennai IG Rajan Bargotra, TM[14]
North-East Region (NE) Kolkata IG K R Nautiyal, PTM, TM[15]
Andaman & Nicobar Region (A&N) Port Blair IG Kuldip Singh Sheoran, PTM, TM[16]
North-West Region (NW) Gandhinagar IG Rakesh Pal, TM[17]

By the end of 2012, the Indian Coast Guard is on track to operate:[18]

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.[19]

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[20]
ICGS Krishnapatnam
CGAE Visakhapatnam (Proposed)[21]
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[22]
ICGS Diglipur
DHQ-10 Campbell Bay ICGS Campbell Bay
ICGS Kamorta
Western Region (W) CGRHQ Mumbai DHQ-3 New Mangaluru ICGS Karwar[23]
CGAE New Mangaluru[24]
DHQ-2 Mumbai ICGS Murud Janjira
ICGS Ratnagiri
ICGS Dahanu
DHQ-4 Kochi ICGS Vizhinjam
ICGS Beypore
CGAE Kochi
DHQ-11 Goa ICGS 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
CGAE Porbandar


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-General (Vice Admiral {FOC-in-C's Scale} on deputation from Indian Navy) Lieutenant General (GOC-in-C's Scale) Vice Admiral (FOC-in-C's Scale) Air Marshal (AOC-in-C's Scale)
Special Director-General (HAG+ Scale) Lieutenant General (HAG+ Scale) Vice Admiral (HAG+ Scale) Air Marshal (HAG+ Scale)
Additional Director-General (HAG Scale) Lieutenant General (HAG Scale) Vice Admiral (HAG Scale) Air Marshal (HAG Scale)
Inspector-General Major General Rear Admiral Air Vice Marshal
Deputy Inspector-General Brigadier Commodore Air Commodore
Commandant Colonel Captain Group Captain
Commandant (Junior Grade) Lt Colonel Commander Wing Commander
Deputy Commandant Major Lt Commander Sqdn Leader
Assistant Commandant (Two year service) Captain Lieutenant Flight Lieutenant
Assistant Commandant Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant Flying Officer

Ranks and Insignia of Indian Coast Guard Officers


Insignia & Rank

Director General
Inspector General
Dy.Inspector General
Commandant (Jr.Grade)
Deputy Commandant
Assistant Commandant

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 commissioned 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.[25]

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.[26] All the District Commanders (COMDIS) and Commander of Coast Guard Region (COMCG) appointments are exercised by a GD Officer of the Indian Coast Guard. GD officers are graduates in Science or Engineering.

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.[26] Pilot officers are graduates in Science or Engineering.

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. Technical Officers are graduates in Engineering.

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.

Enrolled personnel

Enrolled personnel in the Coast Guard serve as either a yantrik (technician) or navik (sailor).[27]

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.


Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft of Indian Navy. Similar aircraft are used by the Indian Coast Guard.
HAL Chetak of Indian Coast Guard

Current aircraft

The Indian Coast Guard operates a fleet of:

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  India Pollution control vessel 2010–present 3,300 tons 3
Offshore patrol vessels (16)
Samarth-class  India Offshore patrol vessel 2015–present 2,400 tons33 more to be commissioned. A follow-on order for 5 more vessels was place in August 2016.[28]
Vishwast-class  India Offshore patrol vessel 2010–present 1,800 tons 3
Sankalp Class  India Offshore patrol vessel 2008-present 2,325 tons 2 As per ICG website[29]
Samar-class  India Offshore patrol vessel 1996–present 2,300 tons 4
Vikram-class  India Offshore patrol vessel 1983–present 1,220 tons 4 3 decommissioned, 1 lost, 1 transferred
Patrol vessels (42)
Aadesh-class  India Fast patrol vessel 2013–present 290 tons 19 1 more to be commissioned.
Rajshree-class  India Inshore patrol vessel 2012–present 275 tons 8
Rani Abbaka-class  India Inshore patrol vessel 2009–present 275 tons 4 1 more to be commissioned. An additional 8, ordered in Phase 2, are under construction.[30][31]
Sarojini Naidu-class  India Extra fast patrol vessel 2002–present 270 tons 7
Priyadarshini-class  India Fast patrol vessel 1992–present 215 tons 4 3 decommissioned[32]
Patrol boats (54)
Bharati-class  India Patrol boat 2013–present 107 tons 4 11 more to be commissioned.(March 2016)
L&T-class  India Fast interceptor boat 2012–present 90 tons 28 26 more to be commissioned.(December 2015)
ABG-class  India Fast interceptor boat 2000–present 90 tons 13
AMP-class  India
 United Kingdom
Interceptor boat 1993–present 44 tons 5 4 decommissioned. 1 leased to Mauritius.
Swallow Craft-class  South Korea Inshore patrol boat 1980–present 32 tons 4 2 decommissioned. 2 stricken.
Patrol craft (27)
Timblo-class  India Interceptor craft 2010–present 7 tons 10
Bristol-class  India
 United Kingdom
Interceptor craft 2004–present 5 tons 4
Vadyar-class  India Interceptor craft 1988–present 2 tons 8
Mandovi Marine-class  India Patrol boat 1980s-present? 10 tons 5? Status unknown.
Hovercraft (18)
Griffon-class  United Kingdom Hovercraft 2000–present 27 tons 18

Former vessels

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

Class Picture Origin Type Commissioned Displacement Vessels Comment
Patrol vessels (11)
Tara Bai-class  India
Coastal patrol vessel 1987–2014 236 tons 0 All 6 have been decommissioned.[30]
Rajhans-class  India Patrol vessel 1980–unknown 200 tons 0 All 5 have been decommissioned.[33]

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
L&T-class  India Offshore patrol vessel 7 Contract was awarded on 3 June 2015. First vessel to be delivered 36 months after signing contract. Subsequent OPV's will be delivered at 6 months interval.[34][35][36]
Pipavav-class FPV[37]  India Fast Patrol boat 14
Pipavav-class Training ship[38]  India Training vessel 1
Timblo class II  India Patrol craft 2013-onward 15 tons 30 Cancelled

See also


  1. ID :154791)
  2. "Grammar Tutorial ::: Reference - Verb Forms / धारुरूप / dhaaturuupa".
  5. "About the Ministry". Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "History:Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  7. "Alondra Rainbow revisited, A Study of related issues in the light of the recent judgment of Mumbai High Court". South Asia Analysis Group. 13 May 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  8. "Indian Coast Guard aims to have 150 ships, 100 aircraft by 2020". Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  9. "Mission & Motto:Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  11. "Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  12. "Indian Coast Guard Gets First 3-Star officer". Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  13. "Regional Commander:Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  14. India, Press Trust of. "Rajan Bargotra new Coast Guard (East) Commander". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  15. "Regional Commander:Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  16. "Regional Commander:Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  17. "Regional Commander:Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  18. "The Indian Coast Guard – "Committed to Serve – Making a Difference"". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  19. "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  20. "Indian Coast Guard station commissioned at Nizampatnam". The Hindu. 26 November 2014. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  21. "Coast Guard to Set Up Air-enclave in Vishakapatnam". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  22. "India Opens New Coast Guard Station In Andaman". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  23. "Indian Coast Guard Station at Karwar Commissioned". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  24. "Coast Guard District HQ 3 to set up RRT - Times of India". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  25. "First Coast Guard academy in Kannur". The Hindu. 28 February 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  26. 1 2
  27. "Careers in Indian Coast Guard". Indian Coast Guard. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  28. "Goa Shipyard set to build five new OPVs for Indian Coast Guard | IHS Jane's 360". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  29. "Surface Units Page :Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  30. 1 2 "Indian Coast Guard: Inshore Patrol Vessels by Hindustan Shipyard Limited". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  31. "India commissions third Rani Abbakka-class inshore patrol vessel". IHS Jane's Defense and Secturity. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  32. "Surface Units Page :Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  33. "Surface Units Page :Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  34. "L&T bags Rs 1,432 cr defence order". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  35. "Defence contracts could turn the tide for L&T shipbuilding". Retrieved 4 January 2016. External link in |website= (help)
  36. "L&T bags Rs 1,432 cr defence order". Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  37. "Pipavav Defence secures order for building 14 coast guard vessels". Retrieved 27 December 2015. External link in |website= (help)
  38. "Pipavav Defence wins Rs 221 cr order from Indian Coast Guard". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
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