Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has launched the fifth Vikram-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) during a ceremony at its Kattupalli Defence Shipyard near Chennai on August 31.
The yet to be named vessel, with Yard no: 45005, was launched by Gargi Kaul, IA & AS, Secretary (Defence Finance) at Indian Ministry of Defence in the presence of Additional Director General KR Nautiyal, PTM, TM, Coast Guard Commander Eastern Seaboard of Indian Coast Guard and other dignitaries.
The OPV is also the 60th vessel built and launched by L&T for the Indian Ministry of Defence.
L&T received an order valued at Rs 1432 crore (~USD200 million) for design and construction of seven OPVs from the Indian Ministry of Defence in March 2015. L&T is the first private Indian shipyard to construct and deliver OPVs for the Indian Coast Guard and the company plans to deliver all the seven OPVs by 2021.
The shipyard has already delivered the first three OPVs – ICGS Vikram, ICGS Vijaya and ICGS Veera – which have been commissioned to the Indian Coast Guard fleet during the FY2018-19, all ahead of schedule. Fourth OPV ICGS Varaha is currently undergoing sea trials and will be delivered in coming weeks.
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.