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Offshore Patrol Vessel Vikram Launched

At an impressive ceremony, Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Vikram, the first of a series of seven OPVs was launched by Ms Jyoti Murthy, wife of a top official of the Indian Coastguard at  Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) Shipyard at Kattupalli near Chennai on October 27.

Launching of any sea going vessel is an auspicious moment, as the ship touches water for the first time, where she has to spend the rest of her life.   Additional Director General, Indian Coast Guard VSR Murthy was the Chief Guest for the launching ceremony.

The OPV launched is the first of series of the 07 OPVs under construction by Larsen and  Toubro Shipbuilding Ltd at a cost of Rs 1432 crores.  This OPV has been indigenously designed and is likely to be inducted into Indian Coast Guard in Apr 2018 after completion of extensive trials on fitted equipment and machineries.  The subsequent OPVs will be delivered after a an interval of six months period between each OPV.

OPVs are long range surface ships capable of coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones useful in  anti smuggling and anti piracy operations with limited wartime roles.

 The vessel has a length of 98 mtrs with gross tonnage of 2100 tons and its endurance is 5000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 12-14 knots.  The maximum speed is 26 knots. The ship is fitted with one 30 mm automatic gun with Fire Control System (FCS) and two 12.7 mm gun with FCS.  The ship will have Integral Twin Engine Helicopter which will enhance its Operational, Surveillance, Search and Rescue capability. It can operate in shallow waters as the draft requirement is hardly 3.6 meters.

The vessel is equipped with state of art radars, navigational and communication system which are capable of operating in tropical conditions.  The OPV would be deployed for day and night surveillance patrol, SAR and pollution response operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the country. About sixty per cent components of the ship were sourced from domestic suppliers.

The Chief Guest brought out that the Indian Coast Guard is on the path of rapid expansion which requires large number of state of art ships and aircraft to strengthen the maritime security mechanism in the emerging security scenario.  Assets requirement are being met by adding new ships and replenishment of ageing existing OPV class of ships in phased manner which have been inducted 30-35 yrs ago.

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