Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Shipbuilding has launched Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) the future ICGS Vigraha (38) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Oct. 6.
The launch ceremony was held at L&T Shipbuilding’s Kattupalli Defence Shipyard near Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The vessel, with Yard no: 45007, was ceremoniously launched by Hema Somanathan, wife of Dr. TV Somanathan, IAS, Secretary (Expenditure) at Indian Ministry of Finance, in presence of Coast Guard Director General K Natarajan and officials from Central and Tamil Nadu State governments.
@IndiaCoastGuard OPV Vigraha launched by Mrs Hema Somanathan, wife of Dr TV Somanathan, IAS, Secy(Exp), MoF in presence of Director General K Natarajan #ICG & other dignitaries of Central & State Govt today at #L&T #Chennai pic.twitter.com/xi7MRM9qwh
— Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) October 6, 2020
ICGS Vigraha is seventh and final Vikram-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) being built by L&T Shipbuilding for the Coast Guard.
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 (MoD) 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 complete the contract by 2021.
The shipyard has already delivered the first five OPVs which have been commissioned to the Indian Coast Guard fleet. These vessels are ICGS Vikram, ICGS Vijaya, ICGS Veera, ICGS Varaha and ICGS Varad. The sixth vessel of the class, the future ICGS Vajra (37), was launched on Feb. 27, 2020.
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 and surveillance, and anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations along with limited wartime roles.
The 2,140-tonne vessels are approximately 97m long, 15m wide and have a 3.6m draught. They can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots and have a range of 5,000 nautical miles.
The vessels are armed with a 30mm CRN 91 Naval Gun and two 12.7mm heavy machine guns (HMG) with a fire control system (FCS).
The OPVs are built with an Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) to enable special control capabilities generally integrated into larger warships like frigates and destroyers. The vessels are fitted with front propulsion pods (bow thrusters) for providing an ability of high maneuverability. 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.