The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned its third Vikram-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), ICGS Veera, during a ceremony in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh on April 15.
The ceremony was attended by General Bipin Rawat, India’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
ICGS Veera was launched by its builder, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Shipbuilding, during a ceremony at its greenfield defence shipyard at Kattupalli near Chennai on Aug. 28 last year.
Indian shipbuilder, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) received the order valued at Rs 1432 crore (~USD200 million) for design and construction of OPVs from the Indian Ministry of Defence in March 2015. L&T plans deliver all the seven OPVs by 2021. L&T is the first private Indian shipyard to construct and deliver OPVs for the Indian Coast Guard.
The first of the class, OPV-1 (ICGS Vikram) was launched in October 2017, handed over to the Coast Gurad in April 2018 and commissioned ahead of contracted schedule on April 11. The second of the class, OPV-2 (ICGS Vijaya) was launched on 20th January 2018 and was handed over to the Coast Guard on Aug. 30, 2018.
Currently, the work is simultaneously in progress on the OPVs 4, 5 & 6, that are at different stages of completion.
Vikram class OPVs are long-range surface ships, equipped to handle helicopter operations and capable of operating in Indian maritime zones including island territories. The role of the OPV is to conduct coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones, control & surveillance, anti-smuggling & anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.
The vessels are approximately 97m long, 15m wide and has 3.6m draught, 2,140 tonne displacement and a range of 5,000 NM. They can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots and are armed with a 30mm CRN 91 Naval Gun and two 12.7mm heavy machine guns (HMG) with fire control system (FCS).
The OPVs are built with Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) to enable special control capabilities generally integrated in larger warships like frigates and destroyers. The vessels are fitted with front propulsion pods for providing an ability of high manoeuvrability. The entire design and construction process has been certified by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) as well as Indian Registrar of Shipping (IRS) and were overseen by the Indian Coast Guard’s resident team at Kattupalli.