Mangaluru, Apr 13, 2018: ICGS Vikram, the first in class of seven new-generation offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) built by Larsen and Toubro contracted by the ministry of defence (MoD) in March 2015 under the government’s initiative of ‘Make in India,’ will be based in Mangaluru. Incidentally, Subash Bhamre, Union minister of state for defence, commissioned the OPV at Kattupalli near Chennai on Tuesday, in the presence of D G Rajendra Singh, director general, Indian Coast Guard.
The defence ship, after its keel was laid in March 2016, was completed in just 25 months of build period, including trials and commissioning. The commissioning of indigenously designed and built ICGS Vikram has rendered a befitting curtain-raiser to ‘Make in India’ theme of DEFEXPO, which is being organised in Chennai. The OPV project has scored many firsts in India’s nearly six decades of defence shipbuilding history, a ministry statement, said.
The entire design and construction of OPVs has been carried out in-house by a private sector shipyard – L&T Shipyard. The vessel which is approximately 97m long, 15m wide, has 3.6m draught, 2,140 tonne displacement and a range of 5,000 NM. It can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots. The OPVs are built with Integrated Platform Management System 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 as well as Indian Registrar of Shipping, and overseen by the Indian Coast Guard’s resident team at Kattupalli. The crew of ICGS Vikram has undertaken harbour and sea trials off the Chennai coast, and the ship is expected to touch base at New Mangalore Port during this month.
Deputy inspector general S S Dasila, commander, Coast Guard Karnataka, who incidentally did watch keeping on board the newly commissioned vessel, told TOI that ICGS Vikram will arrive at NMP after the trials are over. Commander G S Yadav is commanding officer of ICGS Vikram with Commander K K Singh and Commandant A K Verma are the executive officers. Coast Guard Karnataka presently has one OPV, four FPVs and two air cushion vessels.
OPVs; ICGS Vikram class OPVs are long-range surface ships, capable of operation in maritime zones of India, including island territories and equipped to handle helicopter operations. The role of an OPV is to conduct coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones of India, control and surveillance, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.