He was speaking after commissioning the Indian Coast Guard ship 'Abheek' in Kochi yesterday.
Promising the government's support for the Coast Guard's plan to substantially increase its force level to face emerging challenges, Antony also emphasised the importance that the government accords to coastal security in view of the asymmetric threats from the sea.
He said the Coast Guard will have 150 ships and about 100 aircraft over the next five years.
The navy ship commissioned yesteray is the second in the series of 21 patrol vessels.
It is equipped with state-of-art weaponry and advanced communication and navigational equipment.
The vessel is an ideal platform for undertaking multifarious close coast missions, such as surveillance, interdictions, search and rescue and medical evacuation.
It also has an integrated gun mount with an indigenous fire control system.
It will be based in Chennai under the administrative and operational control of the Command Coast Guard Region (East).
--ANI (Posted on 01-01-2014)