The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned its first Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (CGOPV), ICGS Sachet (18), in Goa on May 15.
The vessel was ceremoniously commissioned by the Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh via video conference from capital New Delhi. He also inducted two interceptor boats (IBs), C-450 and C-451, into the ICG fleet.
“The commissioning of these ships is an important milestone in India’s coastal capability building process. Also, despite challenges like COVID-19, it is also a great example of our commitment and determination for the safety and security of the country. The rising power of ‘our sea guard’, ICG and Indian shipbuilding industry is a matter of pride for the country,” said the Minister.
The keel of Sachet was laid at Goa Shipyard Ltd. (GSL)’s facility in Goa on 20 March 2017 and the vessel was launched on 21 February 2019 in a ceremony attended by the then Indian Minister of Defence, Ms. Nirmala Seetharaman.
ICGS Sachet is the first of the five OPVs ordered by the Coast Guard under the five-ship CGOPV project, which is a follow-on of earlier six-ship CG OPV Project (Samarth-class OPVs) completed in 2017. All six Samarth-class vessels are in operation with the Coast Guard.
The contract for five Batch II Samarth-class/CGOPV vessels was signed by GSL with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 26th August 2016 and commencement of production of the first vessel was formally started within 3 months with formal steel cutting by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on 13 November 2016.
The vessels of the class are scheduled to be delivered by June 2021.
These vessels are based on the in-house design of GSL and will be 105 meters long with a displacement of 2,350 tonnes. According to GSL, they are fitted with most modern and technologically advanced machinery and computerized controls systems, making them the most advanced patrol vessels in service with the Indian Coast Guard on delivery.
The hull would be the most efficient form designed by GSL and would provide for fuel efficiency, crew comfort and excellent sea keeping qualities, claims the shipbuilder. The ships will feature the Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS), Power Management System (PMS) and High Power External Fire Fighting System.
The vessels will be armed with on 30 mm CRN 91 Naval Gun and two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns (HMG). The OPVs are designed to carry one twin-engine light helicopter and five high-speed boats including two Palfinger Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) for fast boarding operations, search and rescue (SAR), law enforcement and maritime patrol.
The class is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to combat oil spill contamination at sea.